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Indian Road Development 



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Paragraph. Page. 

! Appointment of tne Committee and terms of reference . . . 1 

2. Procedure of the Committee .......*. 2 

3. Tour of the sub-committee .......... 2 

4. Subsequent proceedings of the Committee ....... 2 


5. Scope of chapter .......... 3 

6. Earliest times ............ 3 

7. Mauryan period. Kautilya's Arthasastra ....... 3 

8. The Sukiaiiiti .....-- 4 

9. Chandragupta ...... *> 

10. Asoka ...... 5 

11. Early travellers 5 

12. Pathan and Moghul periods. Ibn Batuta 5 

13. The Tarikh-i-Sher Shahi 6 

14. The Chadar Gulshan 

15. European travellers. William Finch ........ 7 

16. Tavernier 7 

17. Nineteenth century .... & 



18. Statistics l0 

19. Road mileage according to classes and types 10 

20. Road mileage according to area and population . . - H 

21. Road expenditure ...... H 

22. Growth of road expenditure and surfaced mileage ...... 12 

23. Administration ......*'* 

24. Finance ..... ** 

25. Road boards .......- 1^ 

26. Road conditions in India .... *^ 

27. Traffic on Indian roads. The bullock cart .,.... 14 

28. Motor traffic, (a) Passengers . 15 

29. (6) Goods . ... 15 


Paragraph! Page* 

30. Effect of motor traffic on roads ......... 15 

31 Defects in the existing road system . ...... 16 

32. Road maps 17 



33. Marketing of agricultural produce ........ 18 

34. Social and political progress ......... 18 

35. Roads and railways ........... 19 

36. Interdependence of communications ........ 20 

37. Conclusion .......... .20 



38. Comparison with other countries ......... 21 

(heat Britain. 

39. Evolution of the present system ......... 21 

40. Classification of roads and contributions by the Ministry ..... 22 

41. Road Fund 23 


42. Classification of roads ........... 23 

43. Service dcs Fonts et Cho-usscos .... 24 

United Slates of America. 

44. Evolution of the present system ...... 24 

45. Federal-aid ..... 25 

46. Classification of roads and mileage ... 26 

47. Bureau of Public Roads ..... 26 


48. Evolution of the present system ........ 27 

49. Canadian Highways Act 27 

New Zealand. 

50. Road administration oa 

* ACT 

61. Main Highways Act -.... 28 

52. Highway districts .... 99 

53. Subsidies ....... aft 


54. Finance 


Paragraph , Page. 


66. National good roads movement ......... 30 

66. Summary . . 31 



67. Interest of the Government of India in road development . ... 32 

68. The constitutional position .......... 32 

69. The finance of road development. (1) From general revenues ... 32 

60. (2) From additional taxation on motor transport ...... 33 

61. Present taxation on motor transport. (1) Central ...... 34 

62. (2) Provincial 34 

63. (3) Local 36 

64. Taxable capacity of motor transport ........ 36 

65. Pioponals for additional taxation on motor transport .... 37 

66. Duty on motor .spirit ........... 37 

67. Reduction in price of petrol .......... S8 

68. Objections to duty on motor spuit. (1) Ubc of motor spirit for other purposes . 39 

69. (2) Burden on large towns 39 

70. Duty on motor .spirit a source of central revenue ...... 40 

71. Grants from cential revenues for road development. Proposed convention . 40 

72. Control over expenditure .......... 41 

73. The federal-aid system in the United States ....... 41 

74. Principles for expenditure of annual grant. ( 1) Apportionment among provinces 41 

75. Principles recommended .......... 42 

76. (2) Approval of projects . ......... 43 

77. Principles recommended .......... 43 

78. Burma 44 

79. Standing Committee for Roads ......... 44 

80. Provincial and local taxation ......... 46- 

81. Vehicle taxation ........... 46 

82. Methods of assessment ........ 45 

83. Licence fees for vehicles plying for hire ........ 40 

84. Loans ............46 

86. Security for loans ...... 47 

86. Village roads .........47 



87. Central Road Board ....... 48 

88. Road Conference ........ 4& 



Paragraph. Page. 

89. Procedure of the Conference 49 

90. Department of Communications ......... 49 



91. Contributions by railways 51 

92. Contributions from the Army budget ........ 51 

93. Monopolies of public motor services ........ 51 

94. Tolls 52 

95. Tolls on bridges 52 



96. Summary of recommendations ......... 53 

97. Acknowledgments 56 


I. Resolution of the Government of India appointing the Committee . . 61 

II. Report of the touring sub- committee ....... 03 

Supplementary Report on the Punjab 82 

III. Statistical Statements ; 

Statement A. Road mileage according to classes and types in 

1926-27 88 

Statement B. Area, population and density of population . . 92 

Statement C. Distribution of road mileage according to area and 

population ....... 93 

Statement D. Expenditure on roads in 1926-27 .... 94 

Statement E. Percentages of provincial, local and total revenues 
spent on roa Is, <mi incidence of road expendituie 
per head of population ..... 98 

Statement F. Provincial anl local expenditure on roads from 
revenue in the year 1913-14 and in the four years 
1923-24 to 1926-27 99 

Statement G. Expenditure on road construction and maintenance 
fr Jin revenue in the year 1913-14 and 111 the four 
years 1923-24 to 1926-27 100 

Statement H. Surfacel mileage in the year 1913-14 and in the four 

years 1923-24 to 1926-27 101 

Statement J. Present cost of annual maintenance and construction 

of roads in different provinces . . . .102 

Statement K. Contributions from provincial revenues to local 

bodies for expendituie on roads in 1926-27 . . 103 

Statement L. Imports of motor vehicles, parts and accessories, and 

of tyres and tubes . . . . .104 


Statement M. Production, consumption and retail price of petrol in 

India 1 5 

Statement N. Duty on motor vehicles etc., and on motor spirit . 106 

IV. Progress made in India with improved forms of road surfaces . 107 

V. Federal Highway Act of 1921 of the United States of America ;. . 1*7 


1. Sketcli map of Konkan and Bombay Deccan showing roads in 1861-62. ~\ . ^ 

2. Sketch map of Konkan and Bombay Deccan showing roads in 1927. J 

3. Mileage of roads surfaced and unsur faced and expenditure on maintenance"] 

and construction in 1926-27, 

4. Details of road expenditure in 1926-27. 

6. Percentage of provincial, local and total revenues expended on roads in (.Facing p. 10. 

6. Road mileage per 100 square miles of area. 

7. Growth of road expenditure from revenue since 1913-14. 

8. Road map of India (in pocket). 



The total cost of the Committee, including the cost of print- 
ing the report and the evidence, is estimated to be Rs. 1,30,000. 



1. At a meeting of the Council of State, held on the 9th of February 1927, 

the following resolution on the subject of 

Appointment of the Committee rO ad development was unanimously adopt- 
and terms of reference. T J r 

" That this Council recommends to the Governor General in Council 
to appoint a Committee, including members of both Houses of 
the Central Legislature, to examine the desirability of develop- 
ing the road system of India, the means by which such develop- 
ment could be most suitably financed, and to consider the 
formation of a Central Road Board for the purpose of advising 
in regard to, and co-ordinating the policy in respect of, road 
development in India." 

After consultation with local Governments, the Government of India in the 
Department of Commerce by their resolution No. 489-T. (1), dated the 3rd 
November 1927*, appointed a Committee consisting of the following members 
of the two chambers of the Indian legislature : 

Chairman : 
Mr. M. R. JAYAKAR, Bar.-at-Law, M.L.A. ; 

Members : 

)iwan CHAMAN LAL, M.L.A. ; 

Che Hon'ble Sir GEOFFREY CORBETT, K.B.E., C.I.E., I.C.S.; 
The Hon'ble Sir ARTHUR FROOM, Kt. ; 
Lala LAJPAT RAI, M.L.A. ; 
The Hon'ble Dr, U. RAMA RAU ; 
The Hon'ble Sardar SHIVDKV SINGH UJJEROI ; and 
Mr. E. F. SYKES, M.L.A. : 

with Mr. H. F. Knight, I.C.S., as Secretary and Mr. K. G. Mitchell, A.C.G.I., 
A.MJnst. C.E., as Technical Adviser. 

The terms of reference were as follows : 

(1) To examine the desirability of developing the road system of India 
and, in particular, the means by which such development could 
most suitably be financed ; and 

* See Appendix I, 

(2) To consider, with due regard to the distribution of central and 
provincial functions, whether it is desirable that steps should 
be taken for the co-ordination of road development and research 
in road construction, by the formation of a Central Road Board 
or otherwise. 

2. The Committee assembled in Delhi on the 6th of November 1927 to 

Procedure of the Committee. settl , e its procedure. It was decided that a 

small touring sub-committee should first 

visit the provinces and collect information from local Governments, local 
bodies, and associations and persons interested in road development, and 
that the full Committee should meet at Delhi in the following January to 
consider the report of the sub-committee and to examine witnesses. The 
Committee also considered and approved the questionnaire, which is printed 
at the beginning of the evidence volume accompanying this report. 

3. The members chosen to form the sub-committee were Sir Arthur Froom, 
T . ,. . who acted as Chairman, Kumar Ganganand 

lour of the sub-committee. o . , -, , r , <- i i -^i xi, 

bmha and Air. Mahmood buhrawardy, with tne 

Secretary and the Technical Adviser. Other members of the Committee were, if 
possible, to join the sub-committee in their respective provinces. The sub-com- 
mittee commenced its tour on the 19th of November 1927 and visited Allahabad, 
Shillong, Calcutta, Patna, Nagpur, Madras and Bombay before Christmas, 
and Lahore early in January. It was joined by Mr. Md. Anwarul Azim in 
Calcutta, the Hon'ble Dr. U. Rama Ran and Mr. K. V. Rangaswamy 
Ayyangar in Madras, Mr. E. F. Sykes in Bombay, and Diwari Chaman Lai, 
Raja Ghazanfar Ali Khan and the Hon'ble Sardar Bhivdev Singh Uberoi in 
Lahore. The sub-committee \va; required to submit its report one week 
before the meeting of the full Committee which was fixed for the 16th of 
January, and time did not permit a visit to Bind or to Burma. During its 
tour the sub-committee interviewed 15 Honourable Members and Ministers 
of local Governments, 40 Secret arios, Chu f Engineers and other represent- 
atives of local Governments, 55 representatives of local bodies, 51 represent- 
atives of commercial and other associations and 14 private individuals. 

4. The full Committee met on the 16th of January 1928 and considered the 
, , reports* submitted by the sub-committee. 

Subsequent proceedings of the mi i J f ., 

Committee. ^ nc ora ' examination oi witnesses commenc- 

ed on the 18th of January and continued 

till the end of the month. The Committee examined 63 witnesses, including 
an Honourable Minister, 16 Secretaries, Chief Engineers and other represent- 
atives of the Government of India and local Governments, 24 represent- 
atives of local bodies, 12 representatives of commercial and other associa- 
tions and 10 private individuals. The Committee met twice during the 
session of the legislature, on the 6th and 12th of March. It re-assembled 
in Bombay on the 2nd of April and sat until the 4th to consider the 
evidence and formulate its conclusions, and met again in Poona from the 
2nd to the 17th of July to consider its report. 

* See Appendix II. 


Indian roads in the past. 

5. From the earliest times there is record of roads and wheeled vehicles 

Sco,* of chnptcr. in India - Good >ads easy communica- 

tions, necessarily go with civilisation and 

civilised administration ; and Indian civilisation goes back not less than five 
thousand years according to the latest discoveries of the Archa3ological 
Department. We do not propose in this Chapter to give a complete review 
of the past history of road administration in India, but some account of the 
systems that existed at certain periods may be of interest. 

6. The Rigvcda mentions the existence of highways, mahapatha. The 

,, , . . excavations by the Archaeological Depart- 

Larhoat limes. __ _ J . _ <-, i - TT 

ment at Mohenjodaro in Sind and Harappa 

in the Punjab, cities estimated to have existed between 3500 and 2500 
B.C., have revealed broad streets with a drainage system alongside them. 
At Harappa there was also found a miniature two-wheeled cart with 
gabled roof and driver seated in front, fashioned in copper, which is probably 
one of the oldest representations of a wheeled vehicle in the world. 

" That by the above date (3300 B.C,) city life in Harappa and Mohen- 
jodaro was already remarkably well-organised and that the 
material culture of the people was relatively highly developed, 
is evident. Indeed, the roomy and well-built houses and the 
degree of luxury denoted by the presence in them of wells and 
bath-rooms and of an elaborate drainage system, betoken a 
social condition of the citi/ens at least equal to that found in 
Sumer, and markedly in advance of that prevailing in contem- 
porary Babylonia and "Kgvpt, where the royal monuments of 
the kings palaces, tombs and temples may have been, 
superior to anything of their class to be found in India, but 
where no private dwelling houses of the citizens have been 
discovered at all comparable with those unearthed in India."* 

7. The Epics and the Buddhistic literature, particularly the Jatakas* 

make frequent mention of roads and high- 

Mauryaii period. Kaufilya's fa f ft t autho ritative evidence 

Arthasastra. P T i 

is to be found in the political treatises ot 

Kautilya and Sukra. Kautilya's period is definitely known, for he was the 
Prime Minister of Chandragupta , the first Mauryan Emperor, whose reign 
lasted from 322 B. C. to 298 B.C. The present Sukraniti is said to be 
a revised edition of an ancient text which is mentioned in Kautilya's 
Arthasastra. Kautilya gives rules regulating the width of roads for various 

*Exhibition of Antiquities discovered by the Archaeological Department during the year 
1926-27, by Sir John Marshall, Director General of Archaeology. 

purposes and various kinds of traffic, and prescribing punishments for 
obstructing or defiling roads : 

" Chariot-roads, royal roads, and roads leading to dronamukha, 
sthaniya, country parts, and pasture grounds shall each be four 
dandas (24 ft.) in width. Roads leading to sayoniya (?), 
military stations (vyuha), burial or cremation grounds, and 
to villages shall be eight dandas in width. Roads to gardens, 
groves, and forests shall be four dandas. Roads leading to 
elephant forests shall be two dandas. Roads for chariots 
shall be five aratnis (7J ft.). Roads for cattle shall measure 
four aratnis ; and roads for minor quadrupeds and men two 
aratms. ?> * 

" Obstruction to roads for inferior beasts or men shall be punished with 
a fine of 12 pafias ; to roads for superior beasts 24 panas ; to roads 
for elephants or to those leading to fields, 54 panas ; to those 
leading to any buildings or forests (setuvanapatham), 600 
panas ; to those for burial grounds or villages, 200 panas ; to 
those for dronamukha, a fortress, 500 panas ; and those lead- 
ing to sthaniya, country parts, or pasture grounds, 1 ,000 panas. 
The same fines shall be meted out in case of ploughing the 
several roads too deep (atikarshane chaisham) ; and |th of the 
same fines for p'oughing merely on their surface," j* 

S. The Sukraniti also lays down rules for roadvS of various classes, 
The Sukran't prescribing the width and the method of con- 

struction : 

" Rajamargas (royal roads) are to be constructed from the palace in all 
directions. The best Rajamarga should be thirty cubits 
wide, the average twenty cubits and the worst fifteen cubits 
only. These Rajamargas are both in towns and villages 
and used for the conveyance of marketable commodities. 
The padya or footpath is three cubits wide, the beethi (lane) 
is 5 cubits and the marga (road) is 10 cubits whether in town 
or village. These ways (i.e., the padya, betthi and marga) 
should emanate from the centre of the grama (village) towards 
the east, west, north and south. The king should la} r out 
many roads according to the number of towns. But he should 
not construct either a beethi or a padya in the capital. 
In a forest of six yojanas (i.e., forty-eight miles) the best 

Rajamarga is to be constructed In each grama there 

should be roads of 10 cubits. The roads are to be made like the 
back of a tortoise (i.e., high in the middle) and provided with 
bridges. And the road should be provided with drains on 
both sides for the passage of water. All houses must have 
their faces (i.e., doors) on the Rajamarga ; and at their backs 
there should be leethis "J 

* Kaii til ya' a Arthasastra, translated by R. Shamasastry, p. 60. 

t Ibid, pp. 217-218. 

t The Sukraniti, translated by Prof. B. K. Sarkar, pp. 34-35. 

9. Coming to actual history, it is said that in the reign of Chandra- 

Chandragupta. gupta (322298 B.C.), 

<c The roads were maintained in order by the officers of the proper 
department ; and pillars, serving as milestones and sign- 
posts, were set up at intervals of 10 stadia, equivalent to a half 
kos according to the Indian reckoning, or 2,022J English yards. 
The provision of these useful marks was made more liberally 
than it was afterwards by the Moghal emperors, who were 
content with one pillar to each kos. A royal, or grand 
trunk road, 10,000 stadia in length, connected the north western 
iron tier with the capital."* (Pataliputra, the modern Patna). 

Strabo, the geographer, states that Eratosthenes and Megasthenes 
both made their computation of the length of India from east to west from 
the register of stages on this royal road. 

10. There is also a reference to roads in one of the rock edicts of the 

Asoka Emperor Asoka (273232 B.C.), in which 

he says : 

" On the roads also banyans were planted, to give shade to cattle and 
men : mango-gardens were planted : and at each half-koss 
wells were dug : also rest-houses were made : many watering- 
stations also were made in this and that place for the comfort of 
cattle and men. "t 

11. The first Chinese traveller, Fa-hien, who travelled in India in the 

. . ,, beginning of the 5th century A.D., says 

Early travellers. , , & , J i 

tnat rest-nouses for travellers were provided 

on the highways."!: Mention of roads and river routes is also made by the 
great Chinese pilgrim Hiuen Tsang in the 7th century A.D., though by way 
of complaint he adds that he was in several places robbed by bandits. 

12. In the Pathan and Moghul periods the main road system received 
n t , , r . , , T , considerable attention, and many of the kos 

.rathan and Moghul periods. Ibn - -i , 111 -..-i* 

Batuta. nunars or milestones erected by the Moghul 

Emperors still exist. Ibn Batuta, who 

travelled in India during the first half of the 1 4th century, gives the following 
account of a journey performed by Sultan Kutb-ud-din, son of Sultan Ala-ud~ 
din Khilji, who ascended the throne in 1317 A.D. : 

" After this he took a journey to Dawlat Abad, between which andDehli 
is a distance of forty days. The road is from first to last inclosed 
with willow and other trees, so that a traveller seems to be in a 
garden throughout all this distance. Besides, there are at the 
distance of every three miles the stations of the foot couriers, at 
which there are also inhabitants, as already mentioned. From 
this place to El Telingana, and El Maabar, is a distance of six 
months. In all these stations there is a lodging for the Emperor, 

* The Early History of India, by V. A Smith, 4th Edition, p. 142. 
t The Cambridge History of India, Vol I, p. 510. 
J The Early History of India, by V. A. Smith, 4th Edition, p. 312. 
Histoire de la Vie De Hiouen Thaang, by Stanislas Julien, pp. 359-260. 


with cells for his suite, and for travellers generally. There is 
no necessity, therefore, for a poor man's carrying any provisions 
with him on this road."* 

13. In the Tarikh-i-Sher Shahi, it is stated of the Emperor Sher Shah, 

who reigned from 1540 A.D. to 1545 A.D., 

The Tarikh-i-Sher Shahi. .,, & 

" For the convenience in travelling of poor travellers, on every road, 
at a distance of two kos, he made a sarai ; and one road with 
sarais he made from the fort which he built in the Panjab to the 
city of Sunargaon, which is situated in the kingdom of Bengal, 
on the shore of the ocean. Another road he made from the city 
of Agra to Burhanpur, which is on the borders of the kingdom 
of the Dekliin, and he made one from the city of Agra to Judhpur 
and Chitor ; and one road with sarais from the city of Lahore 
to JVlultan. Altogether he built 1,700 sarais on various roads ; 
and in every sarai he built separate lodgings, both for Hindus 
and Musulmans, and at the gate of every sarai he had placed 
pots full of water, that auy one might drink ; and in every sarai 
he settled Brahmans for the entertainment of Hindus, to provide 
hot and cold water, and beds and food, and grain for their horses ; 
and it was a rule in these sarais. that whoever entered them 
received provision suitable to his rank, and food and litter for 
his cattle, from Government. Villages were established all 
round the sarais. In the middle of every sarai was a well and a 
masjid of burnt brick ; and he placed an tmatu and a mnazzm 
in every masjid, together with a custodian (shahna), and several 
watchmen ; and aJJ these were maintained from the land near 
the sarai. In every sarai two horses were kept, that they might 
quickly cany news. I have heard that Hussain Tashtdar once, 
on an emergency, rode 300 kos in one day. On both sides of 
the highway Sher Shah planted fruit-bearing trees, such as also 
gave much shade, that in the hot wind travellers might go along 
under the trees ; and if they should stop by the way, might rest 
and take repose. If they put up at a sarai, they bound their 
horses under the trees. "| 

14. The main roads of Moghul India are described in the Chahar Gulshan, 

which was written in the middle of the 

ihe Chahar Culshan. eight eenth century and is quoted by Professor 
Sarkar in his India of Aurangzib : 

" The Chahar Gulshan gives the stages of the following 24 roads, of 
which the first 13 have been traced either fully or in great 
part. Of the remaining 11 roads, a few of the stages have been 
identified, but they do not enable us to trace accurately the 
alignment of these highways. In the case of some of the latter 
class, we encounter the further difficulty of not knowing for 

* The Travels of Ibn Batuta, translated by the Rev. Samuel Lee, pp. 122-123. 
t The History of India, by Sir H. M. Elliot, Vol. IV, pp. 417-418. 

certain where the road begins and where it ends and the relative 
positions of the different stages. 

Roads mainly traced. 

1. Agra-Delhi. 

2. Delhi-Labor. 

3. Lahor-Gujrat-Atak. 

4. Atak- Kabul. 

8. Delhi- Ajmir. 

9. DeJhi-Barili-Benares-Patna. 
10. Delhi-Kol. 

J 1 . Agra- Allahabad. 

5. Kabul-Cfhazni-Qandahar. | VI. Bijapur-Ujjam. 

6. Gujrat-Srinagar. j 13. Siroiij-Narwar. 

7. Lahor-Multan. ' I 

Roads partly traced. 

14. Aurangabad-Ujjain ? j 18. Dholpur-Agra ? 

15. Golkonda-Asir-Hindia. ; 10. Multan-Bliakkar. 

16. Hindia ?-Sironj. 20. Srinagar-Atak. 

17. Narwar ?-Gwalior-Dholpur ? 21. Ajmir-Ahniadabad ? 

Roads not traced at all. 

22. Surkhab-Kabul. j 21. Qandahar >-Atak."* 

23. Qandahar ?-Multan. | 

15. Travellers from Europe experienced little difficulty in moving through 

, X r India in Moghul timers. William Finch, 

European travellers. William . ,1, nir o ..LA 

jr mc h. a merchant, who travelled from Surat to Agra 

in 1608, left an account of his journey : 

" At Burhanpur the road left the Tapti and struck north-west for 
Mandu and Malwa, crossing the Satpura range and the Narbada 
river, arid then ascending the steep scarp of the Vindhyas. The 
track was very bad, successive marches being described as " stony 
and steep way ", "stony troublesome way"," bad way", and 
" steep way " ; while the ascent to Mandu was " up a steep stony 
mountain, having way but for a coach at most." After Mandu 
there was one more bad stage, and then a good road to Ujjain."t 

16. TavernierJ whose travels in India extended from 1640 to 1667, 

normally journeyed in a carriage drawn by 

Javemicr. , ... i n i i i i j. i 

trotting bullocks, and considered travel in 

India quite as comfortable as in Europe. He describes tho following routes 
in use in the Moghul period : 

1. Kandahar-Multan. 

2. Kandahar-Kabul-Lahore-Dclhi-Agra. 

3. Agra-Sasseram-Patna-Dacca (from Pat-na much of the journey was 

mad' 4 by river). 

4. Surat-Burhanpur-Grwalior-Agra. 

5. Surat-Ahmedabad-Jalor-Biana-Agra. 

6. Sui'at-Aurangabad-Golconda. 

* The India of Aurangzib, by Prot. .Tadunath Sarkar, p. xcvi, 

t India at the death of Akbap An Economic Study, by W. II. Morel and, p, 44, 

J Travels m India, by Jean Baptiste Ta vernier. 


7. Aurangabad-Burhanpur. 

8. Golconda-Masulipatam. 

9. Surat-Goa (mostly by sea). 

10. Goa-Bijapur-Golconda. 

11. Masulipatam-Gandikot. 

12. Gandikot-Golconda. 

But the roads generally did not p3tmit the free movement of commerce at 
all seasons. 

" Traffic was practically at a standstill during the rains, and was re- 
duced to small limits during the hot weather, when fodder and 
water were difficult to get, so that we find an English merchant 
at Surat complaining that there were four hot and four wet 
months, " in which time there is no travelling and therefore unfit 
for commerce". A striking illustration of the influence of the 
seasons is given by Tavernier in discussing the alternative 
routes from Surat to Agra. The western road through Rajputana 
was iri his time the more dangerous of the two, owing to the 
attitude to travellers adopted by the chiefs and tribes, but it 
was nevertheless preferred by merchants whose time was limited ; 
lying through sandy country with few rivers, it could be traversed 
directly the rains ceased, while the safer eastern road through 
Malwa was impassable for nearly two months owing to the heavy 
soil and the frequent obstacles presented by ii\vis still in flood. 
The ordinary traveller therefore would prefer to stay in Surat 
till the country had dried up, and then pursue his journey 
through Burhanpur and Gwalior, but a merchant who took 
this course could not return to Surat in time to sell the goods 
which he brought from Agra before the shipping season was 
over, and on the upward journey therefore he laced the greater 
risks of the western route. Later in the season the position 
was reversed ; there was then little fodder or water to be had in 
Rajputana, and in the absence of special reasons travellers from 
the north naturally chose the road through Malwa, which pre- 
sented fewer difficulties."* 

17. During the last century and prior to the introduction of railways, 

a number of trunk roads, bridged and me- 

Nmetecnth renturv. , n j , , i -i , T 

tailed, were constructed and maintained 

under the supervision of military engineers, connecting the more important 
military and commercial centres. The developments that were inaugurated 
during the Governor Generalship of Lord William Bentinck (182835) were 
continued and extended by Lord Dalhousie (1848 56). 

" A particularly inefficient body called the Military Board, which was 
supposed to look after public works, was suppressed, and the 
Department of Public Works (P. W. D.) was constituted 
nearly in its existing form. The expenditure on public work, 
which had been on the most niggardly scale, was enormously 

* India at the death of Akbar An Economic Study, by W. H. MoreJand, p. 242. 




(Scale 64 Miles - 7 Inch) 











(Scale (> I Miles ^ 1 Inch) 







increased, and works of great magnitude, such as the Grand 
Trunk Road, were undertaken."* 

With the advent of laihvavs, however, attention was concentrated on 
the construction of feeder roads at right angles to them, and the trunk roads, 
especially where parallel to the railways, were in some cases allowed to go 
out of repair. There was a great increase in metalled feeder roads and roads 
of local importance. Sir Richard Temple in his India in 1880 estimates 
that there were in that year not less than 20,000 miles of metalled and parti- 
ally bridged roads in India. There are now 59,000 miles of surfaced roads in 
British India. The two maps (facing this page) illustrate the development 
of roads in a part of western India during the last 75 years. 

* The Oxford History of India, by V. A Smith, 2nd Edition, p. 707. 



Indian roads to-day. 

18. Statements A to K in Appendix III have been compiled from the statis- 

,. . tical information furnished by local Govern- 

htatistica. . , 4 , . . , ,1 T 

ments and Administrations in their replies 

to our questionnaire. The Committee's enquiry did not extend to Indian 
States. Roads in municipal areas are also excluded. The figures relate to 
extra-municipal roads maintained from provincial revenues and from local 
funds, and also in some statements to the roads in minor provinces and ad- 
ministrations which are maintained from central revenues. The statements 
show that conditions vary considerably from province to province, and 
provincial variat ons are illustrated in the diagrams facing this page. It will 
be sufficient now to summarise the aggregates. 

19. Excluding roads in municipal areas, roads in British India may be 
Road mileage according to roughly divided into the following five 

classes m<l typos. (Statement A). classes I 

(1) Roads wholly or mainly maintained from provincial revenues ; 

(2) Roads maintained from local funds, that is, from the funds of 

district councils or boards, with grants-in-aid from provincial 
revenues ; 

(3) Roads maintained from local funds ; 

(4) Roads maintained by minor local bodies such as union boards and 

village panchayats ; 

(5) Roads maintained by the villagers themselves. 

Figures have been furnished by local Governments for the first three 
classes only, but the line dividing classes (3) and (4) does not appear to have 
been drawn on the same principles in all provinces. The distinction between 
classes (4) and (5) is even more vague. For the purposes of the statements, 
roads in class (1) are described as provincial, and roads in classes (2) and (3) 
as local, and there is a further sub-division according to types into surfaced 
and unsurfaced. The total road mileage in British India according to these 
classes and types is : 




of total. 


















Percentage of total 






Maintenance Constr* 

Rs. Lakhs 









1 1 

1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 ) 1 f 

!/ . . . , ',* .* ' ' f 

r ;i .. ...%*: * -. I 

, < * , <* *| 


Maintenance Construction 

Proi/mcial Local Provincial Local Loan 

Percent-age of Revenues Spent- on Roads 

Miles of Rood per IOO Sq. Miles of /frea 

Referred to 



surfaced un surfaced 

Tofat area 


*z o 




1 \ 


, \ 

i \ 







CD o 
^ L 

N < 














z 5 

r 30 
o< n 





It should be observed that the omission from these figures of the large 
but unascertained mileage in classes (4) and (5) tends to vitiate comparison 
with the statistics of other countries which are more complete. 

20. In considering the average road mileage according to area and popula- 

Pvoad mileage according to area tion, it is necessary to allow for the large 

and population. (Statements B and proportion of the total area which is either 

c )- uncultivated or under forest, and for the 

density of the population. In the nine Governors' provinces 41 per cent of 

the total area is cultivated, and the density of the population is 235 to the 

square mile. The average road mileage for every 100 square miles of the total 

area and of the cultivated area, and for every 100,000 of the population, is : 

Per 100 square miles of 

Per 100,000 of 

Total area. 












21. The total expenditure from revenue on roads in 1926-27, in lakhs of 

Road expenditure. (Statements 
D and E). 

rupees, was : 
















In addition, there was capital expenditure on construction amounting to 
Rs. 61-79 lakhs, of which Rs. 58-97 lakhs were provincial and Rs. 2-82 lakhs 
local. The percentage of total revenues spent on roads, and the incidence 
per head of the population, in 1926-27 were as follows : 




Percentage of total revenue . . 

Per cent. 

Per cent. 

Per cent. 





* Calculated on rural population only. 


22. The growth of expenditure on roads in recent years has been marked. 
Growth of road expenditure and The following table gives for the nine Gover- 
surfaced mileage. (State mentsF to nors' provinces the total expenditure 
"' from revenue in 1913-14 and in each of 


the four years ending 1926-27, and also the percentage of increase : 









Rs. lakhs. 


R. lakhs. 


Us. lakhs. 


























This increase is partly due to the higher cost of maintenance, owing to the rise 
in prices since 1913-14 and also to the greater strain thrown on roads by the 
development of motor traffic. Expenditure was allocated to construction and 
maintenance as follows : 







Rs. lakhs. 


Rs. lakhs. 


















In the nine provinces, the increase in the mileage of surfaced roads during this 
period was as follows : 


Mileage of surfaced roads. 


















23. Roads in the nine Governors' provinces are a provincial subject, 

and in all except Assam are a transferred 

Administration. subject, that is, administered by the Gov- 

ernor acting with Ministers. Under the Devolution Rules the Governor 
General in Council has power * to declare that any road is of military im- 
portance, and to prescribe in respect thereof the conditions subject to 
which it shall be constructed or maintained'. But hitherto this power 
does not appear to have been exercised, and the Governor General in Council 
is directly concerned only with the 7,000 miles of roads in minor pro- 
vinces and administrations. ' Provincial ' roads are ordinarily maintained 
through the agency of the Public Works Department ; but in some provinces, 
particularly in Madras, considerable lengths are maintained through the 
agency of the district councils or boards, which receive payments from pro- 
vincial revenues for this purpose. l Local ' roads are maintained by 
district councils or boards. As the figures in Statement A indicate, the 
extent to which the administration of roads has been delegated to district 
councils varies considerably from province to province. But in British India 
as a whole, including provincial roads which are maintained through their 
agency, about 80 per cent of the total mileage is now administered by district 
councils. In addition, district councils have certain responsibilities in 
respect of the unascertained mileage maintained by minor local bodies. The 
roads maintained by the villagers themselves are rough lanes and field cart- 
tracks, for which there is little organised administration. 

24. Provincial roads are financed from the general revenues of the province. 

The proposals of the local Government for 
appropriations in any year are submitted to 
the vote of the local Legislative Council in the form of demands for grants ; and 
as roads are a transferred subject, if a demand is refused or reduced, it cannot be 
restored. Local roads are financed mainly from local funds, which are derived 
principally from a cess calculated on the land revenue, which is paid only by 
landholders.* The extent to which district councils or boards receive contribu- 
tions from provincial revenues, varies from province to province. Details for 
1926-27 are given in Statement K. Contributions are also sometimes made by 
district councils to minor local bodies. It will be seen from Statement E that 
the percentages of provincial revenues and local funds spent on roads differ 
considerably in different provinces. 

In addition, construction is sometimes financed from provincial or local 
loans. In Madras it is stated that the construction of new roads is generally 
so financed ; and in the United Provinces a three year programme, mainly of re- 
construction, is being financed from loans. In Bombay, where the cost of a 
scheme of road construction including the construction of bridges amounts to 
Rs. 5 lakhs or over, it is met from loans. In the Punjab the construction of 
certain major bridges is debited to capital account, and also the construction of 
certain roads in areas which are beii) developed under new irrigation schemes. 
As a general rule, however, the Government of the Punjab is of opinion that road 
development should be financed from revenue. 

* Mr. K. V. Rangaswamy Ayyangar considers thit local expenditure is unfair in its 
incidence on landholders. - B2 


25. Until recently road development was generally local in its outlook 

and objects. Road programmes in many pro- 
oa ar s " vinces were framed for a district or division. 

In the last few years, however, partly owing to the extension of motor transport, 
wider considerations have been recognised, and in most provinces road or com- 
munications boards have been constituted to co-ordinate local programmes and 
evolve a provincial policy. These boards are usually advisory to local 
Governments, but in the Punjab and in Burma financial powers of sanction have 
in certain cases been delegated to them. 

26. It is difficult to give a concise account of conditions in a country so vast 

as India and varying so widely in its physical 
Road conditions ,n India. characteristics and climate. In some parts 

it is easy to make at small cost a road which is passable for traffic of all kinds for 
the greater part of the year ; in other parts it is impossible, except at a very 
heavy cost, to make a road which is passable even for bullock carts during seve- 
ral months of the year. In Bengal and Assam, the country is almost impassable 
during the heavy rains ; and the network of waterways would make the cost of 
bridged roads almost prohibitive, while the waterways themselves provide ail 
alternative system of communications. In Orissa, floods are so frequent that 
roads are built on embankments, which may be washed away for many miles a time. In the Gangetic plain, and again in a great part of the Punjab, the 
absence of road-metal makes the construction of metalled roads expensive 
and difficult. On the other hand, much of the Punjab is so flat and dry that 
unmetalled roads will serve most pufposes. In parts of the province, however, 
and in Sind, sand obstructs wheeled traffic and makes road construction very 
costly. The coastal belt of the Bombay Presidency is intersected by rivers and 
creeks, and the steep ghats behind are difficult to pass. In the Central Pro- 
vinces and the Deccan, the deep ' black-cotton ' soil of the valleys alternates 
with rocky hills, which provide an ample supply of road-metal. But the many 
rivers flowing across the peninsula, and their tributaries, are obstacles which 
increase in difficulty as they approach the coast of Madras. Across the Bay of 
Bengal, the sparsely populated province of Burma is surrounded by an almost 
impenetrable belt of hill and forest, which has hitherto been an effective barrier 
to through road communication with India. Finally, the trade routes to Cent- 
ral Asia through the Himalaya are narrow mountain paths, blocked for many 
months of the year by deep snow. 

If there are any conditions that may be said to be common to most parts of 
India, they are these. In the first place, roads which would otherwise be a fair 
means of communication, are frequently interrupted by a river-crossing or sticarn 
bed, w r hich seriously restricts the practicable load on a vehicle even in the open 
season. Secondly, the surface of unmetalled roads during the rains is liable to 
be reduced to an impassable morass. 

27. This diversity of local conditions is reflected to some extent in the traffic 

on Indian roads. In the Himalaya, goods 

han r adS * are carried on P ack arimals, mules, pomes, 
yaks and even sheep and goats. In the sandy 
tracks of north-west India, camels are commonly used for both goods and 
passengers. And in northern India much passenger traffic is carried in pony 


ekkas and tongas. But generally speaking, throughout India the bullock cart is 
the ordinary means of transport, and is well adapted to the needs of the country. 
It is strongly constructed and is not easily damaged by bad roads ; it is made 
from materials which are available almost everywhere and by artisans who are 
found in almost every village ; and in case of breakdown repairs can 
easily be effected. Further, the cultivator, who is the chief user of the roads, 
has his own agricultural bullocks which can be employed for purposes of trans- 
port when not working in the fields. On the other hand, the ordinary bullock 
cart is very slow, and it is sometimes argued that the employment of agricul- 
tural cattle for road transport may impose on them an additional strain which 
may be found to be economically wasteful. It is also complained that the nar- 
row iron tyres frequently fitted to bullock carts do much damage to the 
roads and add substantially to the cost of road maintenance. 

28. The figures in Statements L, M and N of Appendix III will convey 

some idea of the rapid growth of motor traffic 

Motor traffic, (a] PasM>ngeis. , rm i c > 

in recent years. I he number or motor ve- 
hicles of all kinds imported into India has risen from 4,419 in 1913-14 to 
25,950 in 1927-28 ; and the consumption of petrol in India has increased from 
4 million gallons in 191 3-14 to 50 million gallons in 1927-28. The annual 
consumption of petrol has risen by 137 per cent since 1924-25, and now 
appears to be increasing every year at the rate of about 30 per cent com- 
pound interest. This rapid increase is largely due to the sudden and 
remarkable development of motor passenger services during the last two or 
three years. These services are penetrating to every motorable road through- 
out the country, metalled or unmetalled, and may run comparatively long dis- 
tances, sometimes even competing with the railway. The type of car most 
commonly used is a light chassis, frequently with a country-made body, holding 
about S to 16 passengers. The heavy omnibus is seldom seen outside large 
towns and their immediate environs. 

29. Motor transport for goods is increasing in important commercial towns 

, M ,, , and is especially useful where there are sani- 

J>) dnod* ! , . .. 

tary or other objections to the stabling of large 

numbers of bullocks. But there is no indication at present of any marked ex- 
tension elsewhere. The bullock cart has definite advantages for short distances, 
and for long distances the motor lorry cannot at present compete with the rail- 
way. There are, however, cases in which motor transport for goods is develop- 
ing or is likely to develop in the near future. There are routes, especially in hill 
tracts, where railway construction would not be economical, but a motorable 
road is possible. For instance, a motor lorry service is running on the road 
between Shillong arid Pandughat, and carries the whole of the khasi potato 
crop. Another opportunity for motor transport is the carriage of goods in the 
vicinity of large towns and, in particular, the supply of perishable produce such 
as milk and vegetables from the surrounding country, for which railway facili- 
ties are not always sufficient. 

30. The development of motor traffic is revolutionising the road problem in 

India. Roads of water-bound macadam are 

Effect of motor traffic on mad,, proving ^equate for combined bullock 
cart and motor traffic. It is complained, on the one hand, that roads are 


deteriorating owing to the increase in motor traffic, and that money for repairs 
is not available. On the other hand, it is objected by motor-owners that 
their vehicles are damaged by bad roads, and that the development of 
motor services is hampered by the inadequacy of the existing road system. 
It has been said that " there are moments in the history of the Road 
in any society where the whole use of it, the construction of it, and its 
character have to be transformed. One such moment, for instance, was when 
the wheeled vehicle first appeared : another when there first appeared large or- 
ganised armies. It occurred whenever some new method of progression succeed- 
ed the old."* It has been seen how roads in India were aft'ected by the con- 
struction of railways. With the development of motor transport a new method 
of progression has appeared, and a further revision of the road system is becom- 
ing necessary in order to meet its requirements. 

31 . We have received much evidence on the state of roads in India at the 

present time, and the defects in the existing 
IMectsm the exiting road system. ^ stcm> It is inmc cessary here to refer in 

detail to many complaints which are mainly of local significance. The 
defects that are summarised below may be taken to apply to India generally. 

In the first place, there has been, at any rate until recently, a lack of sys- 
tem and continuity in road programmes. This is the natural result of an out- 
look which was concentrated primarily on purely local needs, and was limited 
by the range of movement of the bullock cart and the provision of short feeders 
to railways. But with the development of motor transport there is a demand for 
an extended range of movement, and for a coherent system which will unite 
broken and disconnected lengths into a continuous whole. 

Secondly, the lack of bridges and crossings is a serious obstacle to traffic of 
all kinds. Apart from the inconvenience, waste of time and possible damage to 
bullocks, the absence of a bridge may seriously reduce, even in the dry season, 
the load which a bullock cart could carry without difficulty along the rest of a 
road, and sp may diminish the economic value of the road as a whole. And 
during the rains an unbridged river may render a road altogether useless. 
Motor transport is even more seriously hampered. A crossing may perhaps be 
forced in an occasional emergency, but regular motor services cannot be satis- 
factorily established on an unbridged road. 

Thirdly, road surfaces are said to be deteriorating, and here again the pro- 
blem is aggravated by the development of motor transport. On the one hand, 
motoi transport demands improved surfaces; and on the other hand, its develop- 
ment is damaging the surfaces that already exist. The question of surfaces, the 
evolution of a ' dual purpose ' road, and especially the improvement of unmetall- 
ed roads, require systematic experiment and scientific research, for which 
organised provision does not always exist. 

Finally, it is generally agreed that the condition of subsidiary roads connect- 
ing villages with main roads and with one another requires special consideration 
and relief. Apart from the immediate benefit to the villagers, it is obvious that 
main roads themselves will not develop their full economic value unless they are 
accessible to the villages of the tract through which they pass. 

" * The Koad, by Hilaire Belloc (Author's Introduction). 


32. A road map of India, on a scale of fifty miles to one inch, has 

recently been prepared by the Surveyor 
Road maps. General of India ; and with his permission 

a copy accompanies this report to illustrate the present road system. We 
Lave also been shown proofs of specimen guide maps, on a scale of ten miles 
to one inch, in book form, which would be of great service to road users and 
to all who are inteiested in road development. 



The desirability of developing the road system of India. 

33. The evidence that we received was unanimous that the road system 
., . of India should be further developed and 

Marketing of agricultural produce. j r^-re > * j. j 

* * * improved. Different witnesses stressed 

different points of view, but the point on which there was perhaps most general 
insistence was the need of better communications for marketing agricultural 
produce. This aspect of the road question has also been considered recently 
by the Royal Commission on Agriculture in India. In paragraph 298 of its 
report the Commission says : 

" Good communications, in combination with efficient marketing 
arrangements, enable produce to be moved cheaply and quickly to 
places where the demand for it is active and secure the equalisa- 
tion of prices for particular classes of produce throughout the 
country, and both these factors react favourably on the price 
which the average cultivator receives. They frequently open 
out to him alternative markets and the element of competition 
between market and market that follows usually operates greatly 
to the advantage of the producer. Defective communications 
between the point of production and the local market hinder the 
movement of goods and make primary marketing costly, the 
additional charge ordinarily falling upon the shoulders of the 
cultivator. In extreme cases, difficulty of communications may 
leave the cultivator entirely at the mercy of the local dealer who 
alone has at his command enough pack or cart bullocks to under- 
take the transport of produce to the nearest market." 

The Commission further points out that efficient communications exercise an 
immediate effect on the factor of time, which is an essential element in the price 
factor. Good communications in any area will often bring new crops within 
the range of profitable cultivation. In fact, it has been the improvement in 
communications since the middle of the nineteenth century that, more than 
any other factor, has brought about the change from subsistence farming to 
the growing of money crops, such as cotton, jute, groundnut and tobacco. The 
Commission also emphasises the point that bad communications, by imposing 
a constant strain on the health and stamina of the draught animals, seriously 
reduce their efficiency for the all-important work of cultivation. Finally, bad 
communications not only hamper the agriculturist in the marketing of his pro- 
duce, but also raise the price of his own purchases from elsewhere. In short, 
the Commission concludes, the true income of the cultivator is largely depend- 
ent on the efficiency of communications. 

34. The social and political effect of good communications, especially on 

the rural population, is not less important 

oocial and political progress. , i , i AA . T . . ,11 

i pi ^res*. t j ian ^ economie ft 1S unnecessary to elab- 

orate this aspect of road development. It is commonplace that social and polit- 


ical progress is advanced by intercourse, and retarded by isolation. The far- 
reaching potentialities of motor transport are beginning to be rea ised. As one 
witness put it, " Good roads annihilate distances. Instead of counting by miles, 
we begin to count distance by time. Twenty to thirty miles is now an hour'? 
distance. "* It is difficult to foresee, and difficult to exaggerate, the effect on 
the life of the nation of this annihilation of distance and the consequent awaken- 
ing of the rural population. 

35. In some countries the competition of motor transport with railways 

has become an acute question. And as 

Roads and railways. rauwavs hi India are mainly State-owned, it 

has even been objected that the development of roads would injure a valuable 
national property. This, however, is not the view of the railway administra- 
tion, which is summed up as follows 

" Broadly speaking the railway regards all new road construction 
favourably as an extension of the transport facilities of the country 
and therefore in the majority of cases tending to bring more traffic 
to the railway. Taking a widi- view, it is only exceptionally 
that new road construction would result in decreasing traffic on 
the railway. "| 

It is admitted that certain lengths of railway, where a road runs parallel 
or on interior lines, have suffered from motor competition in the carriage of 
passengers. For instance, between Lahore and Amritsar, during the summer 
of 1927 third class passenger receipts fell by nearly 6n per cent. But it is 
considered that over long distances the railways can more than hold their own 
both for goods and passengers. Over short distances whatever mode of trans- 
port is most economical or convenient should be available, while motor com- 
petition tends to stimulate improvement in the railway services provided. The 
railway administration would prefer that more attention should be paid to 
4 radial ' roads, which feed the railways, than to through roads which may com- 
pete with them. But here again it is recognised that through roads are the 
backbone of any coherent road system. The attitude of the railway adminis- 
tration is thus stated in the memorandum submitted to the Committee by the 
Railway Board : 

" Generally speaking any scheme by which the development of the road 
system of India will receive an impetus, will be welcomed by the 
railway administration. The benefits that mav be expected from 
it probably far outweigh the losses that may be suffered in some 
areas from the competition that will arise from road motor 

traffic It is natural that in the replies received 

by the Committee from railways the latter should have expressed 
themselves as opposed to the construction of roads parallel to and 
running alongside the railway lines, but it must be recognised 
that a road system will have to be connected up and cannot be 
limited to roads more or less at right angles to railways. It is 
suggested, however, that there is large scope for many years to 

* Mr. T. K. T. Viraraghavachariar, District Board Engineer, Wes c Godavari, Madras. 
*t Reply to the supplementary questionnaire submitted bv the Bengal Nagpur Railway. 


come in the development of roads which will feed the railways 
rather than compete with them, and that, even where roads are 
required parallel to the railways, they will open up the country 
better if built at some distance from the railways. " 

36. It is natural that each section of the community should emphasise the 

importance of the communications in which it 

w jnu-rde,>emlence of comrnumc.. ifl immediat rfy interested. ThllS the defect 

in existing communications that is most 

apparent to the agriculturist, is the condition of subsidiary roads con- 
necting villages with main roads and with one another. On the other 
hand, the motorist and the promoter of motor transport sometimes 
do not see beyond the neefl for rnotorable roads. And the railway 
traffic officer may be primarily interested in * radial ' feeders. But the 
fact is that all communications are interdependent. The value of a village road 
is small unless it leads to a main road, which leads in turn to a market or rail- 
way. On the other hand, the full value of a railway is not realised, unless it is 
fed by an adequate system of main and subsidiary roads. The orderly devel- 
opment of all communications should proceed together. In particular, it is 
inevitable in a country so vast as India that the network of railways should have 
a very wide mesh. The intervals should be filled by roads, and it would appear 
that the development of railways has outstripped the development of roads. 
It is stated in the Railway Boa id memorandum that " railways in India have 
always felt the lack of roads to feed them ". It is indeed somewhat incongruous 
that there should be nearly 40,000 miles of railway in India, while the total 
mileage of surfaced roads in British India is only 59,000. 

37. Our conclusion is that the development of the road system of India is 

,, . . desirable. It is especially desirable because 

Conclusion. . ... 1 . , r J . . , , ,. 

it will make for the economic, social and poli- 
tical advancement of the rural population, on which the future of the nation 
so much depends. 


Road administration and finance in other countries.* 

38. Before we examine the remaining questions referred to us, it will be 

useful to turn to the experience of other coun- 
('oniiwinHon with other countries. , j i j_i xiir i J * 

f tries and consider the methods ol road admin- 

istration and finance which have been adopted to meet, in particular, the situa- 
tion created by trn rapid growth of motor transport in recent years. It should 
be clearly understood, however, that it would be unwise to press analogies with 
other countries in which the historical background, the existing constitution, 
the system of public finance, the taxable capacity of the people, and social 
and economic conditions generally may be widely different. 

Great Britain. 

39. The existing roads of Great Britain are the result of centuries of 
v , ,. ( ,, , . growth: and, without going back to the his- 

involution of the present system. - ' ' i 

tory of Roman roads, the evolution or the 

present system can be traced from parochial management by forced labour, 
through the toll and turnpike trust system and its failure, to the imposing of the 
whole burden upon the rate-payer, and the administration of roads by county 
councils, urban and rural district councils and other local bodies.f Tiie giow- 
ing sense of national responsibility for roads subsequently led to the enactment 
of the Development and Road Improvement Act of 1909. Under the pro- 
visions of this Act a Road Board, consisting of five members, was created in the 
following year, in which the administration of the road improvement grant was 
vested subject to the control of the Treasury. This grant comprised the pro- 
ceeds, less the cost of collection, of the motor spirit duties and 1he motor 
licence duties imposed by the Finance Act of 1910, and sums once credited to it 
did not lapse if unspent. In its administration of this money the Board could 
borrow upon the security of the grant ; it could make advances to highway 
authorities, in the form of grants or of loans, for the improvement of existing 
roads or for the construction of new roads, but not for ordinary repai'S ; while 
with respect to advances for the construction of new roads, it could not in any 
one year exceed one-third of its estimated receipts. The amount available for 
advances during the year 1911 appears to have been about one million sterling. 
The life of this arrangement was brief, for during the war it became impossible 
to continue these credits to the road improvement grant. After the war 
national participation in road administration and finance was consolidated and 
extended by the Roads Act of 1920 ; the powers previously vested in the Road 
Board were transferred to the Minister of Transport, and a Road Fund was 

* We are indebted to our Technical Adviser for notes on the road systems of Great Britain 
and the United States of America. His note on the United States system has, by the courtesy 
ot the Federal Government, been checked by Mr. H. S Fairbank, Highway Engineer, to whom 
our thanks are due. 

t For a comprehensive review see English Local Government The Story of the King's 
Highway, by S. and B. Webb. 


created in which were merged the outstanding credits and liabilities of the road 
improvement grant. Under the Ministry of Transport Act the Minister was 
empowered to classify roads for the purpose of making advances from the Road 
Fund, while the previous prohibition of advances for repairs was not repeated. 
At the same time the method of taxation of motor transport was changed, a 
tax on motor vehicles, designed to produce an annual revenue of about seven 
million sterling, taking the place of the duty on motor spirit which was abo- 
lished. These various enactments may be said to mark the definite accept- 
ance by Parliament of the principle that roads are of national importance and 
a fit object for expenditure from national revenues. It is true that, in the 
circumstances then prevailing, the necessary funds could only be realised by 
the taxation of motor transport, and the view was at that time widely held that 
such taxation should be regarded strictly as a temporary expedient in view of 
the need for heavy expenditure on roads at a time when the resources of the 
country were much depleted. This view, however, has not prevailed, and the 
capacity of motor transport to bear taxation is now generally recognised. Not 
only has taxation for road purposes been continued ; but the balance at the 
credit of the Road Fund has, in time of financial difficulty, been appropriated 
to general revenues, while motor transport will be required in future to contrib- 
ute to general revenues through the new import duty on motor spirit. 

40. The road system thus evolved is complicated, but may in general be 

described as follows, though the summary 
: "' Ul " Ontril ' does not cover every case. Prior to 1921 the 
roads of Great Britain were divided into two 
chief classes, ' main ' and ' district' . for which county councils and urban or 
rural district councils were respectivelv responsible. In 1921 roads were fur- 
ther classified as follows : 
Class I 

(a) Main arteries connecting London with the principal towns and ports ; 

(b) Roads connecting to\vns of J 0,000 population or more ; 

(c) Roads serving as connecting links between routes classified under 

(r/) Roads connecting routes classified under (a) or (b) with large rail- 

v r ay stations and other important places. 
Class 2 

(a) Roads connecting urban areas of less than 10,000 population, or 

roads linking such areas with class 1 roads ; 

(b) Roads connecting congested rural areas with class 1 or other class 2 


The classification of 1921 aimed primarily at determining the extent of contrib- 
utions from the Road Fund, and did not replace the pre-existing administra- 
tive classification ; it has, however, resulted in some modification of the latter, 
in that roads placed in classes 1 and 2 of 1921, that were not previously c main ' 
roads, are gradually being re-classed as ' main ' and transferred to the charge 
of county councils. The Ministry contributes 50 per cent in the case of class 1, 
and 33J per cent in the case of class 2, of the cost of maintenance and of all 
approved projects of improvement. It may also make ' extra-classification ' 


grants for special purposes ; actually, nearly half the contribution has in recent 
years taken the form of extra-classification grants. The roads department 
of the Ministry, in addition to the actual classification and its periodical modi- 
fication, initiates schemes, approves projects, co-ordinates, stimulates 
and distributes the result of experiment and research, and supervises the road 
branch of the National Physical Laboratory. It may also, in certain cases, 
carry out the construction of new arterial roads direct. County councils usually 
manage their roads through roads or highways sub-committees, which 
supervise the County Surveyor who is chief executive officer. 

41. In the year 1 920-2 1, 9,432,302 were credited to the "Road Fund. 

In 1920-27 the amount was 18,232,948, of 
IUwd Fljn(L which 17,373,190 were from motor vehicle 

taxes. The payments from the Road Fund in this year were 124,613,320, in- 
cluding 7,000,000 appropriated to general revenues. 


42. " The national Service of Eoads and Bridges, of France, was 

organized under an Ordei oi Council dated 

Classmen of roads. February 16th> 1 716> and by the lmddle o f the 

eighteenth century there was in France a very extensive network of roads which 
had been built and maintained almost wholly from funds provided from the 
Royal Exchequer. The first Republic made provision for the maintenance of 
these roads from funds supplied by the national Treasury. 

In 1797 these roads were divided into three classes as follows : 
I. Roads leading from Paris to the frontiers. 
II. Roads leading from frontier to frontier, but not passing through 

III. Roads connecting towns. 

Thus, as early as the end of the eighteenth century, France had a well- 
defined and classified system of roads and a system of technical control. 

Napoleon I, in 1811, placed the cost of maintenance of Class III roads on 
the departments^ but the national Service of Roads and Bridges retained 
technical control. 

Little change in the general plan of administration has taken place since 
1811 so far as the national roads are concerned, but the development of other 
classes of roads has gradually been brought into harmony with that of the 
national roads. 

At present the highways of France are comprised in four groups as follows : 
L National highways (routes nationales). 
II. Provincial highways (routes departementales). 

III. Main roads county roads (chemins des grandes communications, 
and chemins d' inter et commun). 

* Extracted from Highway Administration and Finance, by [Thomas R. .Agg and John E- 
Brindley, pp. 96 -98. 

t A dej artment in* France is an administrative area or province. 


IV. Local roads township roads (chemins vwinaur ordinaires). 

Roads of Class I are improved and maintained wholly at the expense 
of the national government and under the supervision of the national Ser- 
vice of Roads and Bridges. 

Roads of Class II are improved and maintained at the expense of the de- 
partment and the work is in charge of a departmental road service appointed 
by the departmental Commission. 

Class III roads connect with the smaller cities and villages and are improv- 
ed and maintained from funds of the communes, supplemented by grants from 
the department. They correspond somewhat to the state -aid roads of the 
United States. 

Roads of Class IV are the responsibility of the commune, and the mayors 
of the towns are in charge of the care of the roads. The cost of maintenance 
is borne by the commune. 

Thus, it will be seen that France has for many yqfirs possessed a classified 
system of highways with authority and responsibility assigned to the various 
political subdivisions of the government. She has long followed the policy 
of national financing and supervision of the main arterial highways. A policy 
closely akin to state aid has also been in operation for a long time. In fact, 
it is generally recognized that France has long enjoyed the benefits of a system 
of road management to which other nations must eventually turn. 

43. The most significant factor in the French organization is the 
Service des Fonts et Chaussces. Ion g established national Service of Roads 

and Bridges (Service des Fonts et Chaussre*) 

which has established a technical staff of commanding professional attain- 
ments. The system has been such that the principal members of the organiza- 
tion have had long-continued service in the Service, and the spirit of the whole 
staff is progressive and its work is based on the most painstaking consideration 
of all of the theoretical and practical factors involved in the French highway 
problem. The staff of the Service is made up of some of the outstanding 
highway experts of the world." 

United States of America. 

44. The evolution of the road system of the United States of America 
, ... , ,. , . during the last 300 years followed in a 

Evolution of the present system. & , J .. . T, , n 

great measure the same lines as in England. 

It began in Virginia with parochial responsibility and forced labour, 
passed through the stages of toll and turnpike trusts and companies to stagna- 
tion during the railway boom, after which the county emerges as the road 
authority. Later, in 1890, State Governments began to intervene, and various 
States created highway departments and commenced to contribute towards 
the cost of ' State aided ' roads. Centralisation in the State increased and 
the State gradually assumed executive authority, till at the present day im- 
portant roads are usually maintained and improved by the State direct, 
State aid having been replaced by State management. In certain cases the 
county now makes a contribution to the State in the place of its previous direct 


expenditure on these roads, but as a general ru(e the tendency is all in the 
direction of complete financial responsibility and control by the State. Finally, 
by the Federal-Aid Road Act of 1916, which was afterwards amended by 
the Federal Highway Act of 1921*, the Federal Government associated itself 
with road development and began to contribute substantial sums. The chain 
of authorities now established is as follows : 

(1) Federal Government. Department of Agriculture, Bureau of 

Public Roads, under the Secretary of Agriculture ; 

(2) State Government. State Highway Department, usually under a 

Commission or a Commissioner appointed by the Governor. 

(3) County administration. 

(4) Township administration. 

The township is a rural area with its headquarter town or hamlet. Larger 
towns have, of course, separate urban administrations. 

45. Appropriations for federal-aid are voted by Congress to be spent on 

construction or reconstruction, but not on 
ederai-aic. maintenance. Each State is required to 

select or designate for federal-aid a system of highways not exceeding seven per 
cent of the total highway mileage of the State. The Secretary of Agriculture 
has authority to approve the systems as designated or to require modifications 
or revisions thereof. And all federal-aid apportionments are to be expended 
on these systems. The amount which may be contributed to any State in 
federal-aid is further limited by the amount which is apportioned to it out of 
the total federal appropriation. This apportionment is determined by section 
21 of the Act of 1921 as follows : 

" The Secretary of Agriculture, after making the deduction authorized 
by this section, shall apportion the remainder of the appropria- 
tion made for expenditure under the provision of the Act for the 
fiscal year among the several States in the following manner : 
One-third in the ratio which the area of each State bears to the 
total area of all the States ; one- third in the ratio which the 
population of each State bears to the total population of all 
the States, as shown by the latest available Fedeial census ; 

one-third in the ratio which the mileage of routes in 

each State bears to the total mileage of routes 

in all the States at the close of the next preceding fiscal year 

Provided, That no State shall receive less than 

one-half of 1 per centum of each year's allotment. All moneys 
herein or hereafter appropriated for expenditure under the 
provisions of this Act shall be available until the close of the 
second succeeding fiscal year for which apportionment was 

made And provided further, That any amount 

apportioned under the provisions of this Act unexpended at 
the end of the period during which it is available for expendi- 
ture under the terms of this section shall be reapportioned 
within sixty days thereafter to all the States in the same man- 

* See Appendix V. 


ner and on the same basis as if it were being apportion- 
ed under this Act for the first time." 

Within the amount so apportioned to it, each State may receive federal- 
aid for projects approved by the Secretary of Agriculture, up to a maximum 
of 50 per cent of the total cost. In approving projects, the Secretary of 
Agriculture is required to give preference to such projects as will expedite 
the completion of an adequate and connected system of highways, interstate 
in character. The 50 per cent maximum is not paid in all cases. This is 
partly due to the statutory limit of $ 15,000 per mile beyond which federal- 
aid is not admissible, and partly to the fact that the States have not applied 
for the full 50 per cent in all cases. Up to the end of 1926, some 
56,700 miles of federal-aid roads had been so constructed. The total cost of 
these had been $1,051,450,000, of which some $466,030,000 or 45 per cent 
had been contributed as federal-aid. The average cost per mile had been 

46. Roads which may receive federal-aid are divided into two classes, 

namely, primary or interstate highways 

Classification of roads and mileage. j ' j i* i 

fe and secondary or mtercounty highways. 

The former may not exceed three-sevenths of the total federal-aid mileage, 
and may not receive more than 60 per cent of all federal-aid until provision 
has been made for the improvement of the entire system. Certain roads 
have also been classified as United States highways, primarily for the 
purpose of uniform sign-posting, and marking in the interests of through 
traffic ; but this does not affect their administrative classification, and they are 
included in the federal-aid system of each State. Thus the roads of the 
United States may be divided into the foi 'owing classes : 

(1) Federal-aid roads, namely, 

(a) primary or interstate highways, and 
(6) secondary or intercounty highways ; 

(2) State roads ; 

(3) County roads ; 

(4) Local roads. 

The latest complete figures of mileage that are available, are for the year 
1925. The total length of all roads was then three million miles. Of this 
total, six per cent were federal-aid roads, compared with the seven per 
cent permissible ; nine per cent were roads maintained by the States ; and 
excluding the surface known as sand-clay, some fifteen per cent were surfaced. 

47. Federal administration, under the Secretary of Agriculture, is centred 
v x u IT r> ^ in the Bureau of Public Roads. In addition 

Bureau of Public Roads. . . . .. , 

to approving projects for federal- aid and 

generally administering this money, the Bureau initiates, co-ordinates, 
subsidises, and carries out direct or conjointly with the highway depart- 
ments of States, every kind of investigation and research, technical or 
economic, that may have a bearing on the use and development of roads ; 
it also carries out independent investigations and enquiries into any matter 
upon which a State may desire a second opinion ; and it publishes the 
results of investigations and other information monthly in ' Public Roads '. 


48. " It is interesting to note that up to the present time the cost of 

road improvements in Canada has been met 
Evolution of the present system. fey current fundgj ^ ^^ proposals for 

the issuance of debentures for highway improvement have met with general 

In the period prior to the Confederation of the Canadian provinces, which 
occurred in 1871, highway development in Canada was exceedingly slow, the 
waterways being utilized almost exclusively for intercourse between the various 
parts of the vast domain. The small amount of road work actually carried 
out in that period was wholly by local initiative or for military purposes and was 
usually supervised by the Royal Engineers. Labor was supplied by the 
settlers in lieu of a road tax. 

In the period from 1871 to 1919, Canada was growing into a unified nation 
and was being settled and developed. In this period each province was a unit 
of road administration and the county and township were subunits. Toward 
the end of this period, the provinces aided the counties and towns with grants, 
of funds for road improvements in amounts varying from one-fourth to one- 
third the cost of the work. By the end of the period each province had a more 
or less stable department of public works, or an organization corresponding 
thereto, and some classification of highways by which the responsibility of 
the province, the county, and the township was definitely established with 
reference to certain parts of the road system of the province. 

49. In 1919 the Canadian Highways Act of the Canadian Parliament, 

became a law and ushered in a new era in the- 

Canadian Highways Act. deve i opment of the highways of the Domi- 
nion. The Act provided for the classification of the highways of the Dominion) 
and the granting of federal aid to a limited system of national roads. The 
sum of $20,000,000 was provided by Parliament to be allotted to the provinces 
on the following basis : 

1. To each province, $80,000 (a total of $720,000) each year for 5 years . 

2. The remainder of the $20,000,000 appropriation to be distributed 

to the provinces on a basis of population. 

It was further provided that the allotments must be secured through the 
adoption of construction projects approved by the Canadian Highways 
Commission, and that the federal allotment must not exceed 40 per cent of 
the total cost of the work. 

It was originally planned that all construction provided for under the 
Canadian Highways Act should be completed in 5 years, but that period was 
later extended 2 years. 

Under the provisions of the Highways Act, there was established a system 
of Canadian National Highways comprising some 25,000 miles well distributed 
throughout the Dominion and about 3,000 miles of this system were improved 
in a manner suitable for the traffic. The operation of the Act has also served 

'Extracted from Highway Administration and Finance, by Thomas R. Agg a*nd John 
E. Brindley, pp. 88-89. o 


to strengthen the Provincial highway departments and to stimulate greatly 
general interest in road improvement." 

New Zealand* 

50. " The control of roads and bridges in New Zealand comes under the 

Koart ad..,.mt,at,on. admmurtration of the Minister of Public 
Works, the mam statutes covering roads 

administration being the Public Works Act of 1908 and its amendments 
and the Counties Act, 1920, and amendments. 

Outside of the cities, boroughs, and independent town districts, the local 
administration is very largely vested in County Councils, and all roads, unless 
specially exempted and declared Government roads, are controlled by the 
County Councils. Local authorities have the assistance and advice of the 
Public Works Department through its various engineers stationed in most of 
the main centres. 

The* allocation and legalization of roads is arranged by the local authori- 
ties and the Public Works Department conjointly. 

The Government assists materially towards the construction of roads and 
bridges, and grants and subsidies are given to the County Councils according to 
the particular circumstances of each individual case. The county quota of 
the cost is usually lound by raising loans secured by a special rate levied over 
the area to bo served by the road 

Maintenance of roads is administered almost entirely by local authorities, 
the necessary funds being obtained from general rating, but in cases of except- 
ional circumstances such as those of roads of considerable length in sparsely 
populated districts where the local rate is totally inadequate to cover efficient 
maintenance, the Government grants assistance, by way of subsidies from the 
Consolidated Fund. 

Since the advent of modern fast and heavy motor traffic efficient main- 
tenance of roads is becoming increasingly important, and, with a view to protect- 
ing the capital expenditure on roads, no opportunity is lost by the Public Works 
Department of impressing on local bodies their responsibility in this direction. 
Some few years ago the Public Works Department instituted a policy of ob- 
taining from local authorities, before issuing any assistance for metalling work, 
a definite assurance that the Council was in aposition and prepared to annually 
allot from its Revenue Fund sufficient money to efficiently maintain the 
metal when placed 

51. It was found in New Zealand, as in other parts of the world, that 

u.. , A . under the strain of motor-traffic the roads 

Mam Highways Act. -. . . , . 

were deteriorating, while the popular clamour 

that they be improved to meet modern conditions was insistent. This led in 
1921 to the introduction of a Main Highways Bill, which provided that all 
works of construction and maintenance on certain specified highways were to be 
carried out by the Government without any contribution from local authorities. 

*Extracted from New Zealand Official Year-Book, 1928, pp. 388392. 


The mileage then proposed was about 2,000 miles, but the Bill provided that 
this could be extended from time to time. 

It was contended, however, by the local authorities that the creation of 
these main highways under direct Government operation would lead to dual 
control and overlapping supervision, and also that it was undesirable to de- 
prive the local authorities of all powers over roads within the areas under their 
jurisdiction. Further, it was claimed that the scheme, by not covering a 
sufficient length of roads, did not give adequate relief to the local authorities. 

For these reasons this Bill did not become law ; but in 1922 

a modified Bill again came before Parliament, and was finally passed as the 
Main Highways Act, 1922. The Act of 1922 has since been amended in 
several respects. 

For the purposes of the Act a Board called the ' Main Highways Board ' 
was set up. The Main Highways Board consists of the Enginecr-in-Chief and 
Under- Secretary of the Public Works Department (Chairman) ; the Assistant 
Engineer-in-Chief and the Chief Clerk of the Public Works Department ; 
two representatives of County Councils ; and one representative of owners of 
motor vehicles. 

52. The Dominion has been divided into eighteen highway districts, which 
1T . , are composed of groups of counties, suitable, 

Hic;li\\a-> (1 <-tri<<K , i i , I- j v r 

by geographical situation and community of 

interest, for so being grouped 

District Highway Councils are set up in each highway district, these 
Councils being constituted to include a Public Works Engineer, and one person 
to represent each constituent county, with an executive of three to be appoint- 
ed by the members of the Council. 

The functions of the District Highway Councils are to make recommenda- 
tions for each year as to which roads within the several districts should be de- 
clared main highways, and what works should be done and what expenditure 
incurred on these highways during that period. 

The District Highway Councils are guided by the following considerations 
when recommending roads for declaration as main highways : 

As to whether the roads may be regarded as arterial in that they carry 

appreciable volumes of through as well as local traffic : 
As to whether tlie roads connect large centres of population within the 

highway district : 

As to whether the roads carry appreciable traffic to and from seaports 
or railway centres \sithin or without the highway districts 

53. Under the Act of 1922 it was provided that the Main Highways Board 
. lt should pay one-half of the cost of construc- 

bubsidies. ,. i , r i i t 

tion or reconstruction ot mam highways and 

one-third of the cost of maintenance or repair. The Main Highways Amend- 
ment Act. 1925, however, authorized the Board to increase its subsidy on the 
cost of maintenance on ordinary main highways from one-third to one-half, 
retrospective to the 1st April, 1925, while an amending Act passed in 1926 
.authorized a still further increase to three-fifths. It is made clear to local 



authorities that it is not the intention, by giving a more liberal subsidy, to 
relieve them of liability in respect to maintenance, the additional subsidy being 
for the purpose of meeting the additional cost of maintenance brought about 
by the increased motor traffic 

54. The Main Highways Account is subdivided as under : 


(a) Revenue Fund, which includes an annual transfer from the Con- 

solidated Fund of at least 35,000 ; proceeds of tax on 
tires and tubes, as collected through the Customs Department ; 
registration and license fees of motor-vehicles. 

(b) Construction Fund, which includes a transfer from the Public 

Works Fund, not less in any year than 200,000, together with 
all moneys borrowed by the Minister of Finance as may be re- 
quired for purposes of construction and reconstruction, to a 
limit of 3.000,000. This sum is intended to extend over a 
period of ten years 

The estimates of amounts required for maintenance and repairs, con- 
struction and reconstruc tion, and all other items are forwarded by the District 
Highway Councils, and after review by the Board are incorporated in the 
Estimates, which in turn are submitted for approval to Parliament, for 
inclusion in the annual appropriations. 

The revenue from the licensing of motor- vehicles and from taxes on tyres 
and tubes is apportioned between the North and South Islands in the 
discretion of the Board, but generally so that the amount apportioned to either 
Island is fixed by reference to the number of motor- vehicles in that Island." 


55. " In ancient China, roads were built lor military purposes. Later on, 

XT . , . L the road system was maintained for corn- 

is ational good roads movcn ent. . . i , ,1 /-*,*/-* 

mumcations between the Cential Govern- 
ment and Provincial Governments for political purposes. At the end of the 
Manchu dynasty (1911) we possessed 2,000 miles of Imperial roads, radiating 
from Peking to connect with all provincial capitals. Recently we came to 
realise that communication is the forerunner of political, financial and indus- 
trial progress. To help agriculture and industrial development by means of 
communications is a national slogan. A national good roads movement of 
China was launched in 1921. The Association for that purpose was set up 
in Shanghai, its object, independent of parties and Government, being to 
advocate the building of good roads throughout China. A very well elaborated 
plan of road building, which classifies the projected roads into national, pro- 
vincial, and district, was drawn up, and was to be carried out either by national 
and local Governments or by the people themselves." 

*By resolution of the House of Representatives on 31st October, 1927, a tax of 4rf. per gal- 
lon is placed on petrol. The proceeds of this tax will be utilized partly for main highways and 
partly for roads and streets outside the main highways scheme. 

t From a paper submitted by Tsooming Chiu, on behalf of the Chinese Ministry of Com- 
munications, to the World Motor Transport Congress, 1927. 


56. In their recent work on Highway Administration and Finance, 

from which, we have already quoted in this 
Summary. Chapter, Messrs. Agg and Brindley have thus 

stated their conclusions* : 

" These selected examples of highway systems of other lands illustrate 
the tenacity with which the local authorities cling to their authority in 
road matters and undoubtedly show that the local unit of government 
has a place in a system of highway administration. With the ever- 
changing modes of transportation, however, modifications of old systems 
have become imperative and these new developments present a striling 
similarity wherever noted. 

These extracts also show how the need for technical supervision of 
certain classes of road work has forced itself upon public consciousness 
among all nations. 

The outstanding impression resulting from a perusal of these outlines 
of highway administration in many lands might be summarized as follows : 

1. The principle of classification of highways according to importance 

seems to be recognized generally *as an administrative and con- 
structive necessity. 

2. Some form of national supervisory body aids in the correlation of 

the highway work of the various subordinate governmental 
units and is deemed of sufficient importance that nearly every 
nation has adopted the principle. 

3. The construction of high-type highways involves materials and 

methods of such a character that technical supervision is deemed 
a prerequisite to adequate highway development. 

4. The inequity of causing the smaller units of government to bear 

all of the cost of main-road improvements seems to be recognized 
all over the world. The principles of what is known in the 
United States as state and county aid have been adopted almost 

* Highway Administration and Finance, by Thomas R. Agg and John "K. Brindley, pp. 



The means by which road development in India could most suitably be financed. 

57. Without stressing unduly the experience of other countries, we think 

it follows from our account of conditions in 
India that road development here, as else- 
where, is now passing beyond the financial 
capacity of local Governments and local bodies, and is becoming a national 
interest which may, to some extent, be a proper charge on central revenues. 
The interest of the Government of India is peculiarly strong, for, as we have 
shown, railways, which are a central subject, and the development of roads are 
interdependent. At the same time, central revenues benefit from road develop- 
ment, not only through enhanced railway receipts, but also through the customs 
and excise receipts from motors and motor spirit, which are rapidly expanding. 
Provincial revenues and local funds, on which practically the whole burden 
of road construction and maintenance now falls, are less directly affected. 
Further, the duty on motor spirit, which has been recommended to us, almost 
unanimously, as the most equitable method of taxing motor transport for road 
development, is a source of central revenue. 

58. Roads, however, have been classified as a provincial subject under 
rr . .' . , .. the Devolution Rules made under the Gov- 

l he constitutional position. ,, /-< > 

eminent ot India Act, and in all Governors 

provinces except Assam they are also a transferred subject. The Act provides 
that no measure regulating a provincial subject shall be introduced in the 
Indian legislature without the previous sanction of the Governor General ; 
and the Devolution Rules further provide that the powers of superintendence, 
direction and control over local Governments vested in the Governor General 
in Council under the Act shall, in relation to transferred subjects, be exercised 
only for certain limited purposes, namely to safeguard the administration of 
central subjects, to decide questions arising between two provinces, and to 
safeguard the due exercise and performance of certain powers and duties. 
We understand that it has also been held that payments from central revenues 
in aid of provincial subjects, unless specifically provided for and legally con- 
trolled, are inconsistent with the principles underlying the scheme of the 
Government of [ndia Act. It follows that, as the Devolution Rules now stand, 
the interest of the Government of India in road development can have no 
effective expression. We assume, however, that the appointment of a Commit- 
tee of the Indian legislature to consider the question of road development, 
the terms of reference, and the participation of local Governments in our 
proceedings, may be taken to indicate that our recommendations need not be 
restricted by the present terms of the Devolution Rules, which will be amended 
as may be found necessary. 

59. All expenditure on roads is now met from general revenues. No 

special taxation, either central or provincial 
ll. i* tavtad for expenditure on roads. 
And it appears to us that road development, 


in so far as it contributes to the general welfare of the country as a whole, is a 
proper charge on general revenues. It must be recognised, however, that no 
large increase in expenditure from general revenues appears to be practicable 
at present. It is the common view of local Governments and local bodies 
that they are already spending on roads as large a proportion of their general 
revenues as they can afford, and that they are unable to increase the propor- 
tion without detriment to other nation-building activities, such as education 
and public health, At the same time, their sources of revenue do not appear 
at present to be capable of any large expansion. On the other hand, sources 
of central revenue are more elastic ; and in particular, expenditure on road 
development tends to increase receipts from certain sources and, to this extent, 
might perhaps be regarded as remunerative. We are not, however, prepared 
to recommend that road development should be financed from the existing 
revenues of the Government of India, for we are not in a position to assess 
conflicting claims for expenditure on other objects, or for the reduction of 

60. Though expenditure on roads is ordinarily a proper charge on general 

revenues, the fact remains that the growth 

xatS n <m of motor trans P rt has CTeated additional 
demands and requirements. And it does 
not seem to be unreasonable that these additional requirements should 
be met, to some extent at any rate, by additional taxation on motor 
transport. The evidence that has been given before us goes to show 
that additional taxation for this purpose would not be opposed by 
the interests affected, provided that they were assured that the receipts 
would be spent on the requirements of motor transport, and would not be di- 
verted to other objects. The reasons for this acquiescence are intelligible, 
Not only would such expenditure improve and extend the facilities for motor 
transport, but it would also substantially reduce the running costs. The effect 
of road surfaces on running costs is not perhaps fully realised. No accurate 
figures appear to have been calculated in India. But the following extract 
from an American bullet/in* may be taken as a basis of comparison : 

Cost of running per 

mile for a motor 

Koad surface. car travelling at 

25-35 mil es per 
As. r.t 

1. Best Portland cement concrete and asphalt filled brick . . 48 

2. Best gravel, yearly average . . . . . . . . 55 

3. Ordinary gravel, yearly average . . . . . . . . 511 

4. Water-bound macadam, well maintained . . . . . . 57 

5. Bituminous macadam, well maintained . . . . . . 54 

6. Average sheet asphalt. , . . . . . . . . . 50 

7. Best earth well packed by traffic, yearly average . . . . 60 

8. Ordinary earth with light traffic, yearly average . . . . 64 

* Bulletin 69 Iowa State College, quoted in Facts a,nd Figures of the Automobile Industry, 

t Cents reduced to annas and pies at the rate of 1 cent = 6 pies. < 


These figures, which allow for depreciation, repairs and wear and tear of tyres, as 
well as for the consumption of petrol and oil, cannot be applied to India without 
many reservations ; but the difference in the cost of running over good and over 
bad roads in India is possibly not less than is represented by them. If they 
are taken as they stand, it appears that the cost of running a car for twenty 
miles over a bad unmetalled road is two rupees more than the cost of running 
over a first class surface. In other words, the additional wear and tear of bad 
roads are more than the whole cost of the petrol consumed on an equal journey 
on a first class road. In any case, if the figures are at all reliable, it follows 
that the saving in running costs from improved surfaces should more than offset 
any additional taxation on motor transport that is likely to be contemplated. 

61. The possibility of additional taxation on motor transport cannot, 

however, be considered without reference to ex- 

rort K (T)' CeXi! 011 n mot r tra " 8 ' isting taxation for general revenues. It would 

be unwise to discourage by excessive taxation 

the growth of a new and valuable transport service ; and at the same time, 
there is the danger that additional taxation, by bringing into operation the 
law of diminishing returns, might affect the amount realised for general rev- 
enues. The progress of central taxation on motor transport is summarised 
in Statement N of Appendix III. Briefly the total receipts from central taxa- 
tion, that is, from customs and excise, have risen from Rs. 9 lakhs in 1913-14 
to Rs. 2,71 lakhs in 1927-28. The rates of duty have been enhanced as 
follows : 

1913-14. 1927-28. 

Customs (import tariff). 
Ad valorem. Ad valorem. 
Motor cars and cycles, parts and accessories . . . . 5 per cent . . 20 per cent 

Motor omnibuses, lorries and vans, parts and accessories 5 per cent . . 15 per cent 
Rubber tyres and tubes . . . . . . . . 5 per cent . . 15 per cent 

Per gallon. Per gallon. 
Motor spirit* . . . . . . . . 1 J annas . . 4 annas 

Motor spirit . . . . . . . . . . Nil 4 annas 

Substantial reductions in the rates of duty have, however, been made in 
recent years. In 1925-26, the import duty on motor spirit was reduced from 
8 annas per gallon to 4 annas, and the excise duty from 6 annas to 4 annas. 
And in 1927-28 the import duty on motor cars and cycles, parts and accessories 
was reduced from 30 per cent ad valorem to 20 per cent, and on pneumatic 
tyres and tubes from 30 per cent to 15 per cent. 

62. When proposing these reductions of import duty in 1927-28, in his 

budget speech in the Legislative Assembly, 
(2) Provincial. ^ Honourable ^ Fi nance Member said : 

" Neither the Government nor, I think, the House would feel perturbed 
if the Provincial Governments seized the opportunity of this 
reduction of the import duty to impose provincial taxation on 
the users of motor cars for the improvement and development 
of their systems of road communication. " 

* Imports of motor spirit have hitherto been negligible. 


Hitherto, however, no local Government has responded to this suggestion, 
not, we understand, because such taxation is considered to be objectionable, 
but only because the report of this Committee is awaited. The only province 
in which there is now any provincial taxation on motor transport is the Punjab, 
where a provincial vehicle tax was first imposed in 1 924. The tax is calculated 
according to seating capacity for passenger vehicles, and according to weight for 
goods vehicles. There is an elaborate schedule of rates ranging from Rs. 25 
to Es. 700 per annum, and falling somewhat more lightly on commercial 
than on private vehicles. Total receipts from this tax in 1926-27 were less 
than Rs. 3 lakhs. In the United Provinces, a provincial tax on motor vehicles, 
which yielded Us. 2 lakhs, was imposed in 1923, but was withdrawn in the 
following year. It should be added that in provinces where there are road 
tolls, tolls paid on provincial roads are credited to provincial revenues, but 
the amount so realised from motor vehicles cannot be separately stated. 

The fee for registration under the Indian Motor Vehicles Act (VIII of 
1914) is payable to the local Government of the province in which the vehicle 
is registered. The fee is intended only to cover the cost of administration and 
varies from province to province. The usual fee for first registration is Rs. 16, 
and Rs. 32 for heavy vehicles. In the provinces where annual re-registration 
is required, the renewal fee is considerably less than the original fee. The fee 
for a driver's licence under the same Act is also payable to the local Government. 

63. The local taxes levied on motortransport include : 
(3) Local. 

(a) Octroi and terminal taxes ; 

(b) Vehicle and wheel taxes ; 

(c) Licence fees for vehicles plying for hire ; and 

(d) Tolls. 

Local taxation varies greatly in different localities. Except in the Madras 
Presidency and in the cities of Calcutta and Bombay and one or two large 
municipalities in the United Provinces, local taxation is usually unimportant. 

In the Madras Presidency substantial taxes are imposed both by municipal 
bodies and by district boards. Vehicle taxes in municipalities vary from Rs. 50 
to Rs.70 per annum on private cars, and from Rs. 200 to Rs. 400 on commercial 
vehicles. The licence fee for a public vehicle levied by a district board may be 
as much as Rs. 1,000 per annum. In addition, there are toll bars at inter- 
vals of about ten miles on the main roads, at each of which a motor vehicle is 
usually required to pay a toll of one rupee. The total revenue realised from 
taxation on motor transport by local bodies in Madras, in the year 1926-27, was 

approximately : 

Rs. lakhs. 
Vehicle tax .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 9-25 

Licence fees for public vehicles . . . . . . . . . . 7 00 

Tolls .. .. , 11-00 

Total .. 27-25 

It should be remarked that the mileage of surfaced roads maintained by 
local bodies in Madras is considerably more than in other provinces. On the 


other hand, there is general complaint that tolls are harassing and should be 
replaced by some other form of taxation. 

In the city of Calcutta there is a carriage tax on all private cars, motor 
buses, taxis, and motor cycles, which varies from Rs. 36 to Es. 60 per annum 
according to the number of wheels and the superficial area, and also a cart tax 
of Rs. 20 on all commercial goods vehicles plus Rs. 5 per ton of the full carry- 
ing capacity. Receipts in 1925-26 amounted to Rs. 2-86 lakhs. 

In the city of Bombay, there is a vehicle tax on vehicles ' impelled by 
machinery ', which ranges from Rs. GO to Rs. 160 per annum for four-wheeled 
vehicles used solely for carrying passengers, and from Rs. 120 to Rs. 240 for 
vehicles used for commercial purposes other than the carriage of passengers. 
The average animal receipts for the three years ending 1926-27 were Rs. 5-35 
lakhs. The condition of the roads in the city of Bombay appears to give 
general satisfaction, and there were no complaints that the taxation on motor 
vehicles was excessive in view of the road service provided. The total ex- 
penditure by the Corporation on roads is stated to be about Rs. 25 lakhs per 

64. It is not possible to calculate the average incidence of all existing taxa- 
tion on motor transport with any accuracy 

^Taxable capacity of motor trans- f rom the data available. Nor would any- 
thing be gained from comparisons with the 

average incidence in other countries, in which conditions may be altogether 
different. There seems no reason, however, to suppose that taxation on motor 
transport in India has reached its economic limit. The import duties now are 
not high for a tariff in which the general rate of duty is 15 per cent ad valorem. 
Substantial reductions have recently been made, and even before these reduc- 
tions imports continued steadily to increase. The figures in Statement L of 
Appendix III suggest that the prices of imports have now been stabilised at a 
considerably lower figure than the prices of a few years ago. In particular, 
the average value of motor omnibuses, vans, and lorries imported without 
bodies in 1927-28 was only Rs. 1.649. Similarly, there has been a reduction 
of the duty on motor spirit accompanied, as will be seen from Statement M 
of Appendix III, by a heavy fall in price. The main port price of petrol is now 
12^ annas per gallon less than it was five years ago, and there has been a fall 
of 3 annas per gallon in the last year. In addition there have been reductions 
of the railway freight on motor spirit, with effect from 1st June last, amounting 
to a further reduction of about 2 annas per gallon in prices at the more distant 
inland towns. The figures in Statement M of Appendix III show a rapid increase 
in the consumption of petrol during the last three years. It has not been shown 
in evidence that the present rate of taxation has retarded the development 
of motor transport. The argument has rather been that any tax on transport 
is economically unsound, but that an even higher scale of taxation would be not 
unacceptable, provided that it was regarded as taxation for transport rather 
than on transport, and that the receipts were spent solely on road development. 
It is unnecessary, for us to discuss this contention at any length. Whatever 
theories may be held, it is a fact that the present financial system in India 
requires various forms of transport to contribute to general revenues, and the 
exemption of motor transport would not be a practical proposal. Our 


conclusion is that some additional taxation might be imposed on motor trans- 
port for purposes of road development, over and above the existing taxation 
for general revenues. 

65. It has been seen that motor transport is now taxed in the following 

Proposals ior additional taxation ways : 
on riotor transport. 

(1) Import duties on motor vehicles, parts and accessories, and tyres 

and tubes ; 

(2) Import and excise duties on motor spirit ; 

(3) Octroi and terminal taxes ; 

(4) Vehicle taxes ; 

(5) Licence fees for vehicles plying for hire ; 

(6) Tolls ; 

(7) Fees for registration and for drivers' licences. 

It has not been suggested in evidence that any additional import duty should 
be imposed on motor vehicles, parts and accessories ; and an additional import 
duty on tyres and tubes, though suggested by one witness, would not be gener- 
ally accep table. High octroi and terminal taxes are generally considered to- 
be objectionable. Tolls are condemned and should be abolished rather than 
enhanced. Fees for registration and for drivers' licences should only cover the 
cost of administration. In the absence of any ne, w method of taxation, and 
none has been suggested to us, there remain only the duty on motor spirit, 
vehicle taxes and licence fees for vehicles plying for hire. It has been proposed 
by some that any additional taxation should be concentrated in a single tax 
on petrol which, it is claimed, is the most equitable means of taxing road users 
according to the use made of the road. But the case for a single tax on petrol 
is not convincing. In the first place, the equity of a petrol duty alone is by no 
means absolute. Secondly, heavy taxation of petrol would tend to stimulate 
the use of petrol substitutes and of other motive powers which might not be so 
easily taxed. There are also other advantages in spreading taxation rather 
than concentrating it on a single commodity. In our opinion, therefore, a 
well-balanced scheme of additional taxation on motor transport for purposes of 
road development should include vehicle taxation as well as petrol duty, 
and should possibly also extend, at any rate in some areas, to licence fees for 
vehicles plying for hire. 

66. It is difficult to arrive by argument at the precise rate of duty which it 

would be fair and prudent to impose on motor 
Duty on motor spint. ffiay be &Igu ^ Qn 

that the cost of petrol is such a small item in the total running costs of a motor 
vehicle that variations in price are scarcely felt ; and in support of this view 
it may be urged that the higher price of petrol in inland towns, which even 
after the recent reductions of railway freights may be as much as 6 annas per 
gallon more than at main ports, does not appear to have affected the develop- 
ment of motor transport. It is also true that for a motor car running twenty 
miles to a gallon, a duty of 4 annas per gallon adds only one-fifth of an anna to- 
the total running costs per mile, which are probably about 6 annas. On the 
" other hand, it is a fact that the duty of 6 annas per gallon was originally imposed 


in 1917 as a war measure to check consumption. It is a fact that the duty was 
reduced to 4 annas in 1925 in the expectation that there would be a compensat- 
ing increase in consumption. It is a fact that the progressive reductions in the 
price of petrol since 1924-25 have coincided with a period of rapidly increasing 
consumption. And finally, the recent reduction of railway freights was ex- 
pected to stimulate consumption, and might be neutralised by an enhancement 
of duty which would merely transfer the consumer's payments from the railway 
budget to the general budget. The truth is that it is impossible to forecast with 
precision the effects of any taxation, for the factors are psychological as well as 
economic. After full consideration, however, we are of opinion that the duty 
on motor spirit might be raised again to 6 annas per gallon without affecting 
consumption, provided that the additional 2 annas now imposed is spent on 
road development which, if the figures given in paragraph 60 are to be trusted, 
may be expected to react sharply on petrol consumption. The amount realised 
from this additional duty on motor spirit would be Rs. 62 lakhs on the figures 
of 1927-28 ; and it may be objected that this will not go far to finance road 
development throughout India. It is enough, however, at this stage to make 
a beginning. It has been seen that the duty on motor spirit is a rapidly ex- 
panding source of revenue, and that the consumption of petrol has been increas- 
ing annually at the rate of about 30 per cent compound interest. The rate of 
increase should be sustained as motor transport continues to develop and the 
range of movement is extended by a better road system. Further, if the time 
arrives when it is possible to abolish or reduce taxation on motor spirit for 
general revenues, we are of opinion that the Government of India should con- 
sider the desirability of retaining the tax for purposes of road development. 

67. We make this recommendation subject to one qualification. It has been 

brought to our notice that railway freights 

Reduction in price of petrol. ^^ for Qnly ft ^ Q the difference 

between the retail price of petrol at main ports and in inland towns, and that a 
substantial balance represents the " selling charges " exacted by the oil com- 
panies. The figures given below as instances are for last April, before the re- 
duced railway freights had come into force ; but the revised prices that have 
recently been introduced by the oil companies apparently do no more than pass 
on to the consumer the reduction in railway freights, and have not touched, 
except for " rounding ", their own selling charges. 

Retail prices of petrol in bulk in April 1928. 


price at 


per gallon. 

Total of 


Sale price 
at destina- 

cols. 5 & 6. 


Rs. A. P. 

Rs. A. P. 

Rs. A. P. 

Rs. A. P. 

Rs. A. p. 

Calcutta . 




1 4 1 

1 8 

3 11 










Jubbulpore . 



1 9 






1 1 4 


1 8 


1 6 


1 6 

1 2 

1 4 






1 5 3 

1 8 *6 


Note. The freight on petrol for long distances was reduced from the 1st June 1928. 

It should be understood that the port prices are retail prices and, therefore, 
include selling charges at the ports. The figures in column 7 thus represent a 
surcharge to cover the cost of distribution in inland towns, over and above the 
amount already added for the cost of distribution at the ports. It is intelli- 
gible that the cost of distribution, allowances for wastage, handling and so on, 
should be more in inland towns than at the ports. But it is not apparent why 
at Nagpur, for instance, the selling charges should exceed the freight from Cal- 
cutta or should be 2{ annas per gallon more than the selling charges at Poona. 
We appreciate that large capital expenditure is being incurred in installing bulk 
distribution. But with increased consumption, overhead charges would have 
a wider spread, and the selling charge per gallon might correspondingly be re- 
duced. The recent reduction in railway freights anticipated a compensating 
increase in consumption, but it would have been more effective if it had been 
accompanied by a reduction in the oil companies' selling charges. We suggest 
that an effort should now be made to induce the oil companies to co-operate 
with the railway administration in reducing the retail price of petrol in inland 

68. There are, however, objections to a duty on motor spirit for purposes 

of road development. In the first place, it is 

Objections to duty on motor objected that motor spirit is used for other 
spmt. (i) Use of motor spirit ior purposes besides road transport, and in parti- 
other purposes. ii- ix i A. j. i ^i 

cular for agricultural tractors and other 

machinery, for motor boats and for aviation. We have been informed, how- 
ever, that the use of motor spirit for agricultural tractors and motor boats is 
almost negligible, normally being required only for starting the engine which 
is then run on crude oil or kerosene. The case of aviation is more difficult, but 
has not yet become a live issue. It is sufficient now to note that aviation 
spirit is easily distinguishable from motor spirit and, being more expensive, 
could probably be exempted from all or part of a moderate duty on motor spirit 
without inconvenient consequences. Secondly, it is understood that a success- 
ful system of aviation is itself partly dependent on an adequate road system. 

G9. It has also been objected that a great part of a duty on motor spirit 

will be paid by motor transport in large towns, 
(2) Burden on large towns. and ^ ^ receiptg win be ^^ ^ ^^ 

municipal roads from which the towns derive no direct benefit. Objections of 
this nature are perhaps an inevitable incident of ad hoc taxation, and may be a 
reason why such taxation should be avoided. But in this case, it is not difficult 
to show that the complaint is over-stated. It may be assumed that part of the 
proceeds of the duty will be spent on main roads leading into large towns, and 
on the improvement of their approaches generally. It should be obvious that 
the improvement of communications between a town and the surrounding coun- 
try would not only benefit the country, but also bring reciprocal advantages to 
the town. It would be as easy to maintain that local bodies in the vicinity of 
a large town are required to incur heavy expenditure on roads for the benefit 
of motor traffic from the town which they are unable to tax. It has been stated 
in evidence before us that the advantages resulting from this improvement of 
communications may not be fully shared by cities like Bombay. We are 
convinced, however, that such cases are not incapable of being adjusted by 
some suitable arrangements with the local Governments. 


70. The existing duty on motor spirit is a source of central revenue, and it 

seems clear that any additional taxation on 

Duty on motor spirit a source of mo tor spirit for Durposes of road develop- 
central revenue. 

frequently been suggested that a provincial surtax should be permitted, which 
should be collected either direct by the local Government from licensed vendors 
within the province, or through the agency of the Government of India from the 
oil companies, along with the central duty as "centimes additionn jls", calculated 
according to the consumption in the province shown in the companies 7 books. 
But a provincial surtax, however collected, is open to strong objection. In the 
first place, it is desirable that sources of central and provincial revenue should 
remain as far as possible distinct. It would lead to obvious inconvenience and 
conflict of interest if the central and provincial Governments were to encroach 
upon each other's fields of taxation. Secondly, it seems essential that the duty 
on motor spirit should be uniform throughout India. It would be administra- 
tively impossible to prevent import from low duty areas into high duty ureas. 
But the difficulties of imposing simultaneously a uniform surtax not only mall 
provinces, but also in all Indian States, may be regarded as practically insuper- 
able*. It has been suggested as an alternative that the excise duty on motor spirit 
should be made altogether a source of provincial revenue. But apart from any 
difficulty that the Government of Jndia might feel in surrendering the proceeds 
of the existing duty, the need for a uniform rate of duty throughout India would 
still remain ; and in addition there would be the possibility of conflict with the 
customs duty on imported motor spirit which, though negligible now, may 
become more important in the future. It seems likely that the demand for pro- 
vincial taxation on motor spirit is based on the hypothesis that the proceeds of 
a source of central re, venue cannot be spent on roads, which are a provincial 
subject. But when once it is conceded that central revenues may properly 
contribute to road development, the demand loses much of its force. 

71. It should be realised, however, that grants from central revenues for 

road development can only be made through 

Jd t;r;r ^ * constitutional processes prescribed by the 
vmt ion. Government of India Act. That is, the esti- 

mated annual expenditure and revenue must 

bo laid in the form of a statement before both chambers of the Indian legisla- 
ture in each year ; and proposals for the appropriation of revenue must be sub- 
mitted to the vote of the Legislative Assembly in the form of demands for grants. 
On the other hand, it is desirable that local Governments which are responsible 
for the administration of roads within their respective provinces, should know 
in advance what grants they may expect and should not be altogether depend- 
ent on the annual vote of the Legislative Assembly. A road programme 
should be planned for a period of years, and grants cannot be utilised 
effectively unless some continuity is assured. We suggest, therefore, that a con- 
vention shoul d be establishd whereby the Legislative Assembly would annually 
vote the proceeds of the additional duty on motor spirit which we have pro- 
posed, as a block grant for expenditure on road development. This annual 
grant should be credited to a separate road development account, and it should 
be arranged that unexpended balances should not lapse at the end of the finan- 
cial year, but should be carried over or re- voted for expenditure in the follow- 


ing year. We suggest that this convention should be established yi the first in- 
stance for a period of five years, after which the position should be reconsidered. 

72. If grants were considered to be maladministered or mis-spent, the 

Assembly would be able in the last resort to 

Control over expenditure. -^ -\ c ,1 , i r j_i 

withdraw from the convention and refuse the 

demand for grant in the following year. But we also propose that the Assembly 
should continue to exercise control over the detailed expenditure of the annual 
grant in two ways. Firstly, the general principles in accordance with which 
the grant should be spent, should be approved by the Assembly. Secondly, we 
recommend the appointment of a Standing Committee of the Indian legislature 
for Roads, similar in constitution and functions to other departmental Standing 
Committees, which would advise the Governor General in Council on all matters 
relating to roads ; and we further recommend that there should be a Finance 
sub-committee consisting of members of the Assembly, and that no expenditure 
from the annual grant should be incurred without its approval. 

73. In formulating principles for the expenditure of the annual grant, we 

have considered the principles adopted in 
UmtedsS 01 ' 1 &ystem m th otllor countries, as described in Chapter V, 

and in particular the system of federal-aid in 

the United States of America. In the United States, it will be remembered, the 
annual appropriation for federal-aid is apportioned among the States according 
to a fixed formula. Within the amount so apportioned each State may receive 1 
federal-aid, up to a maximum of 50 per cent of the total cost, for projects 
approved by the Secretary of Agriculture. Projects must relate to roads included 
in a system of highways previously designated by the State, with the approval 
of the Secretary of Agriculture ; and the Secretary of Agriculture is also required 
to give preference to such projects as will expedite the completion of an adequate 
and connected system of highways, interstate in character. Finally, if any 
part of the appropriation apportioned to a State remains unexpended at the end 
of the fiscal year, it is available for expenditure in that State until the close of the 
second succeeding fiscal year, after \vliich it is re-apportioned among all the 

74. [t was strongly urged by the representatives of local Governments 

and others that it was imperative that the 

Principles tor expenditure of apportionment of any grant among the pro- 
aToS ft JaV A "' 1 rtlo " rapnt ymces should be determined in advance accord- 

ing to a fixed formula, and should not be sub- 
ject to annual discussion and dispute. To this we agree, and we have spent 
much time in endeavouring to arrive at a formula which would satisfy conflicting 
claims. Some of the formulae that we have considered are detailed in para- 
graph 5 of the report of the sub-committee in Appendix II. It was natural 
that each province should support the formula that was most favourable to 
itself. After careful consideration of all proposals, we are of opinion, firstly, 
that any formula that is to be generally acceptable must be simple and easily 
calculated ; and secondly, that the weight of evidence supports the proposal 
that the proceeds of an additional duty on motor spirit should be apportioned 
among the provinces in the ratio which the consumption of petrol in each pro- 
vince bears to the total consumption in India in each year. 


75. We accept this principle of apportionment subject to certain qualifica- 

-D .* , , , tions. In the first place, it is, in our opinion, 

Principles recommended. ., , r , - ,, i r ,1 

necessary that a part ot the proceeds of the 

additional duty on motor spirit should be retained by the Government of 
India as a reserve. Apportionment according to petrol consumption means 
that the larger share will go to provinces in which there are large towns. But 
the terms of reference to the Committee require consideration of the road sys- 
tem of India as a whole, and it is desirable, therefore, that there should be a 
reserve available for special grants where for some reason there is need for 
special aid. Such cases will include projects which are beyond the resources 
of the local Government immediately concerned and are of sufficient all-India 
importance to justify a special grant, or again projects which concern more 
than one province or State, as, for instance, a bridge over a river on a provincial 
or State boundary. In addition, there will be certain central expenditure on 
road development, as, for instance, on intelligence and research. We there- 
fore propose that one-sixth of the total proceeds in each year should be retained 
by the Government of India as a reserve. 

Secondly, it seems right that the apportionment should extend not only 
to minor provinces and administrations under the immediate authority of the 
Governor General in Council, but also to Indian States. The road system of 
India cannot be satisfactorily developed without the co-operation of the States, 
through which many arterial routes necessarily run. The additional duty 
which we propose for purposes of road development will fall alike on petrol 
consumed in the States and in British India ; and it would be unreasonable to 
expect their co-operation unless they also receive some financial assistance 
from the proceeds. The way in which such assistance should be given is a 
matter for arrangement between the Government of India and the States, and 
is outside the scope of this Committee. All that we now propose is that an 
apportionment, calculated on the total petrol consumption in minor provinces 
and administrations and in Indian States, should be allotted as a lump sum to 
the Government of India. 

To put our proposals in a more concrete form, the apportionment on the 
basis of the petrol consumption in 1927 would approximately have been : 

Us. lakhs. 
Reserve with the Government of India . . . . . . 10' 00 

Madras .. .. .. .. .. .. ..7-44 

Bombay .. .. .. .. .. .. 9-39 

Bengal .. .. .. .. .. .. ..8-99 

United Provinces .. .. .. ., .. .. 2-86 

Punjab .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 4-20 

Burma .. .. .. .. .. .. >. 6*54 

Bihar and Orissa .. .. .. .. .. .. 1'80 

Central Provinces . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 * 63 

Assam .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 1*16- 

Government of India for minor provinces and administrations and 

Indian States . . . . . . . . . . 5' 9& 

Total .. .. 60-00 


If any part of the amount apportioned to a province remains unexpended at the 
end of the financial year, it should be carried over for expenditure in that pro- 
vince in the following year. 

76. Grants should then be made to each province, up to the amount so 
/k> . , , , . apportioned to it in each year, for expendi- 

(2) Approval of projects. * r . J ' r 

ture on projects approved by the Governor 

General in Council, with the advice of the Standing Committee of the Indian 
legislature for Roads. It has been suggested by some local Governments 
that grants from central revenues should be block grants to be spent on roads 
according to the discretion of each local Government. It does not, however, 
appear to us to be proper that the Government of India and the Indian legis- 
lature, who will be responsible for imposing this additional duty, should divest 
themselves of all responsibility for the manner in which the proceeds are spent. 
We believe that strong objection would be taken by the taxpayers on whom 
the duty will fa 1 !, if they were deprived of their constitutional right to influence 
the expenditure of the proceeds through their representatives in the Indian 
legislature. Further, as we have already indicated, the need for grants from 
central revenues for road development has arisen because roads are becoming*, 
more than a local concern ; and it is right, therefore, that such grants should 
be spent in directions in which they appear to the central authority to be most 
needed. We do not think that the approval of projects on which grants may 
be spent, in the manner proposed, could reasonably be regarded as undue inter- 
ference in the responsibility of a local Government for the roads in its province. 
Examination of the United States Federal Highway Act, which is reproduced 
in Appendix V, will show that the sovereign States concede to the Federal 
Government far more control over the expenditure of federal-aid than we are 
now proposing. In point of fact, no representative of a local Government, in 
evidence before us, has seriously contested the view that grants from central 
revenues should only be spent on projects approved by the Governor General 
in Council. 

77. The class of projects that might properly be approved, would nat i- 

rally be a matter for subsequent consideration 
Pnnc lp lesre,omn)ended. fey ^ Standin? Committee for Roads and 

by the periodical Conference which we are proposing ; and it would in any case 
be difficult to suggest any general principle until roads in India have been classi- 
fied according to some uniform system. Strictly speaking, it might perhaps be 
correct to confine expenditure from central revenues to projects which may 
fairly be regarded as benefiting India as a whole, or as aiding the proper ad- 
ministration of a central subject. And ultimately it may be found desirable 
to restrict grants to roads classed as arterial or to roads, for instance, which are 
definitely feeders to railways. But until the road system of India takes firmer 
shape, considerable latitude will probably be found necessary ; and any project 
in a provincial programme might be approved which is part of a consistent 
plan of road development. At this stage also, when the financial future of road 
development is still obscure, it would be unwise to stimulate construction in 
advance of the capacity to maintain ; and for this reason, we think that grants 
might be approved for maintenance as well as for construction. Nor does it 
seem desirable to limit grants to any fixed percentage of the total cost of a project. 


78. it has been represented by the Government of Burma that the pro- 

vince of Burma is separated from the rest of 
India by a wide stretch of hill and forest 

which is entirely roadless, and that its road system is not likely to be con- 
nected with the Indian road system within any calculable time. It follows 
that road development in Burma is a self-contained problem and has no all- 
India aspects. Recognising the special circumstances, we consider that for the 
present the amount apportioned to Burma might be spent on any scheme of 
road development that is approved by the local Government and the local legis- 
lature. But if at any future time the question of road connection with India 
becomes a live issue, the position should be reconsidered. 

79. The Standing Committee for Roads, as we have already stated, should 

StandmgCoinmmec for Roads. be * imil r hl constitution and functions 

to other departmental Standing Committees. 

The Chairman would be the Member of the Governor General's Execu- 
tive Council in charge of the department that deals with roads, and the 
members would be elected by the two chambers of the Indian legislature. 
In view of the interdependence of roads and railways, we consider that a 
"representative of the Railway Board, who should also, if possible, be a 
member of the Indian legislature, should be nominated a member of the 
Committee. Representatives of other departments of the Government of 
India which are interested in road development, should attend in an ad- 
visory capacity when required. The Secretary to the Committee 
should be an officer with technical knowledge of road matters, who should 
be appointed Road Engineer with the Government of India and be attached 
to the department that deals with roads. The functions of the Committee 
would be : 

(1) To consider the annual budget and accounts of the separate road 

development account of the Government of India ; 

(2) To consider all road projects submitted by local Governments to 

the Government of India, for which grants from central reve- 
nues are requested ; 

(3) To advise the Government of India generally on all questions 

relating to roads and traffic on roads and, in particular, on 

(a) any action to be taken by the Government of India on the 

proceedings of the periodical Road Conference, which is 
proposed in paragraph 88 ; 

(b) central research in all matters connected with roads, load 

construction and maintenance ; 

(c) statistics and intelligence, the preparation and publication of 

maps, and the collection and dissemination of information 
relating to road development, administration and finance in 
India and in other countries. 

All proposals for expenditure from the annual grant would be submitted for 
approval to a Finance sub-committee, consisting of the Member in charge 
as Chairman and all members of the Committee who were members of the 
Legislative Assembly. 


80. In paragraph 65 we expressed the opinion that a well-balanced system 

of additional taxation on motor transport 
Provincial and local taxation. , p j -t i ^^,,4. u^i/J 

for purposes of road development snoulct 

include a duty on motor spirit, vehicle taxation and possibly also licence fees for 
vehicles plying for hire. We have now considered in detail the imposition 
of an additional duty on motor spirit, and the manner in which the proceeds 
of the duty should be spent. As a Committee of the Indian legislature, 
we are primarily concerned with questions of central taxation and the expendi- 
ture of central revenues ; and under the Scheduled Taxes Rules, vehicle 
taxes and licence fees for vehicles plying for hire are taxes which the Legis- 
lative Council of a province may impose, or authorise any local body to 
impose, without the previous sanction of the Governor General. It is there- 
fore entirely for local Governments, local legislatures and local bodies to 
decide what additional taxation of this kind could be borne by motor trans- 
port for purposes of road development. We have no desire to trench on 
matters which are of purely provincial and local concern. Nevertheless it 
m&y be useful to summarise the more important points that emerged from the 
evidence that was pressed upon us. 

81. Vehicle taxation is a common method of taxing motor transport in 

17 , , A other countries, and in Great Britain a 

Vehicle taxation. , . , 11,1 ^ 

vehicle tax calculated on horse power is 

the main source from which the revenue of the Road Fund is derived. It 
has been seen that the Punjab is the only province in wb'ch there is now 
a provincial vehicle tax ; and except in the Madras Presidency and a few 
large towns this method of taxing motor transport has scarcely been adopted 
by local bodies. There seems no reason to think that vehicle taxation, 
where it has been imposed, has in any way retarded the growth of motor 
transport ; and if the proceeds were spent on road development, it might be 
found to be a positive stimulant. Tn view of the recent substantial reduc- 
tions of central taxation on motor transport for general revenues, we think 
that this source of revenue for road development might with advantage be 
explored. There appeared, however, from the evidence to be a general 
desire that vehicle taxation on motors should be provincial rather than local, 
and should replace local taxes which may be peculiarly harassing to a 
vehicle with a wide range of movement. It would, of course, be necessary 
to compensate local bodies by grants from provincial revenues for the loss 
of income that they might have derived from local imposts. It must also 
be recognised that the road service provided by different local bodies varies 
greatly, and could not be equitably financed by uniform provincial taxation. 
In large cities, for instance, where a costly and efficient road system is main- 
tained, largely for the benefit of motor transport, a local tax in addition to 
the provincial tax would seem to be justified. 

82. We do not propose to discuss the methods of assessing vehicle taxa- 

Methods of assessment. tion on motors. The touting sub-corn- 
rmttee in paragraph 14 of its report 

has given some indication of the variety of methods that may be employed. 
In the United States of America alone there are eleven different methods of 
taxing private cars and twenty-two methods of taxing motor buses. 
Detailed examination would have required more time and more knowledge of 



technical engineering than the Committee has had at its disposal. It is a 
question that might well be examined subsequently by the periodical Road 
Conference which we recommend. We may, however, remark that from 
many points of view it would be advantageous if provincial vehicle taxation 
on motors were uniform throughout India, and a system of reciprocal exemp- 
tions were arranged so that each vehicle would be taxed only at the place of 
registration. This would not only be a great convenience and stimulus to 
the movement of motor traffic. Methods of taxation exercise a direct 
effect on the type of car used ; and if there is wide diversity, it may tend to 
discourage the manufacture or assembling of motors in India, which 
could only be undertaken profitably on a large scale by concentrating on one 
or two types. 

83. The scale of licence fees for vehicles plying for 1 ire is a purely local 

question, depending on local conditions, the 

foS. 06 feCS f r VellKlC8 l>lyiUg roads P^vided, and the amount of taxation 

that the traffic is able to bear. There is, 

however, one aspect that may be mentioned. We refer elsewhere to the 
evidence we received of the serious damage that is done to roads by many 
small bus services, and of the need to limit the number that may ply on any 
particular road. It is understood that in some parts of India licence fees are 
substantial and not incommensurate with the additional expenditure incur- 
red by the local body that maintains the road on which the service plies. At 
the same time, the pitch of the licence fees tends automatically to limit the 
number of vehicles running to the number that the road can economically 
carry. We have not the material for any definite recommendation. We 
would only suggest that it might be considered by the authorities concerned 
whether it would be possible to solve on these lines the problem of correlating 
public traffic to road capacity, which is daily becoming more difficult in some 
parts of India. 

84. It remains to consider how far road development may properly be 

financed from loans. Different opinions have 
ans ' been expressed in evidence, and the views of 

local Governments, in particular, somewhat naturally tend to vary according 
to their present revenue resources. We do not propose to discuss these views 
in detail. It is a matter that each local Government must consider and decide 
for itself according to its circumstances. We would, however, deprecate 
large schemes of road expansion financed by loans, for the service of which 
provincial revenues might be mortgaged for long periods, while other depart- 
ments of Government, which may be not less important, are starved. There 
are also certain principles of general application, which may be briefly stated. 

In the first place, only construction or reconstruction should be financed 
from loans. Loans should be for short periods, and there should be revenue 
clearly in sight to cover not only the interest and sinking fund charges, but 
also the cost of maintaining the road when constructed. The history of road 
bonds in some countries indicates that the future cost of maintenance has 
sometimes been underestimated, and financial embarrassment has followed. 

Secondly, construction from loans should preferably be confined to the 
more permanent parts of a project, such as a bridge, the life of which can be 


estimated with fair accuracy for the calculation of the sinking fund, while 
the cost of maintenance is small. 

Thirdly, provided sufficient data are available to calculate the life of 
the component parts, it may be found that the reconstruction of a road in 
more permanent materials from loans may actually effect a saving ; that is, 
the cost of maintaining the reconstructed road plus loan charges may be 
less than the cost of maintaining the existing road. 

85. It has frequently been suggested in evidence that any additional 

taxation for the purposes of road develop- 
' ecun y or oans ' ment should be utilised as security for a 
road development loan, and that the proceeds of this taxation should be 
earmarked for the service of the loan. It should be obvious, however, that 
the security of a single tax for which no permanency can be guaranteed would 
be unacceptable for a long term loan, and that any loans for road develop- 
ment should be borrowed in the ordinary way on the security of the revenues 
of India. Local Governments, however, when preparing their loan 
programmes, would be justified in taking into consideration the grants from 
central revenues that they might expect to receive under the scheme of 
apportionment which we have proposed. 

86. We are conscious that we have hitherto confined ourselves to the 

finance of main road development, and may 
i age roac *,. appear to have neglected to make provision 

for the subsidiary roads connecting villages with main roads and with one 
another, which may for convenience be called " village roads ". But as we 
have already said, a Committee of the Indian legislature should restrict 
itself as far as possible to questions of central finance, and could not intrude 
too far into the financial concerns of local Governments and local bodies. 
Grants from central revenues would naturally be limited to projects which 
may be regarded as having some all-India significance. In particular, as the 
additional taxation that we have proposed for purposes of road development 
will fall entirely on motor transport, the proceeds should be applied to meet 
its requirements ; and we think that strong objection would be taken if they 
were diverted to any other object. At the same time, the indirect benefit 
to village roads from our proposals should be substantial. The complaint 
now is that local Governments and local bodies are incurring increased 
expenditure on main roads to meet the requirements of motor transport. 
But if this expenditure can now be met, in part at any rate, from additional 
taxation on motor transport, the funds so released should be available for 
expenditure on village roads. In some provinces, contributions are already 
being made for this purpose, and we hope that one of the results of our pro- 
posals will be that these contributions will be substantially increased. We 
have emphasised ihe importance of village roads in the general scheme of 
communications, and we have shown that their condition requires special 
consideration and relief. The precise measures that should be taken are 
questions of local self-government that are outside the scops of our enquiry. 
We can only express the hope that local Governments and local bodies will 
find it possible to devote more attention and more money to the improvement 
of village roads in future. 



The co-ordination of road development. 

87. We have referred in paragraph 25 to the road or communications 

boards that have been constituted in most 
Central Road Board. provinces . These boards appear to gerve a 

useful purpose in advising local Governments on their road programmes, and 
it has been freely suggested that a Central Road Board should be appointed 
to co-ordinate road development throughout India. There is frequently, 
however, no clear idea of the constitution and functions of such a body. In ite 
extreme form, the suggestion appears to be that the Board should be an inde- 
pendent executive body administering as trustees a separate road fund, to 
which the proceeds of central taxation on motor transport would be credited. 
This idea seems to be largely based on a misapprehension of the systems of 
road administration in other countries, which are sometimes believed to be 
directed by boards of this kind. It has been seen, however, in Chapter V that 
the administrative authority in other countries is a department of the 
Government ; in Great Britain, the Ministry of Transport ; in France, the 
national Service of Roads and Bridges ; in the United States of America, 
the Federal Department of Agriculture and the State Highway Departments ; 
in Canada, the Canadian Highways Commission and the provincial Highway 
Departments ; and in New Zealand, the Ministry of Public Works. We 
have already stated our view that grants from central revenues for road deve- 
lopment can only be made through the constitutional processes prescribed by 
the Government of India Act, and we have formulated our proposals accord- 
ingly. It seems unnecessary to pursue this suggestion further. It should be 
obvious that a subject so closely associated with other branches of adminis- 
tration and with the life of the country generally, could not be removed from 
the control of the Government and the legislature. 

88. There is, however, general agreement that there should be some co- 

T> . , . ordinating body, with advisorv functions, 

Road Conference ,. , ,j -, ^ . , ~ T 3 . 

which would advise the Government of India 

and local Governments on matters relating to road development and adminis 
tration. No case, in our opinion, has been made out for the appointment of a 
permanent body for this purpose. We are strongly opposed to the creation 
of an elaborate Road Department in the Government of India, which would 
not only be a needless expense, but might also lead to undue interference and 
friction with local Governments. We think that all the co-ordination that is 
now required could be effected through a periodical Road Conference of 
representatives of the Government of India and the local Governments, who 
would meet from time to time to exchange views on matters of common con- 
cern. The Chairman of the Conference should be the Member of the Governor 
General's Executive Council in charge of the department which deals with 
roads, and the members should include the members of the Standing Committee 
of the Indian legislature for Roads, representatives of other departments 


of the Government of India concerned with roads, such as the Railway, Com- 
merce and Army Departments ; provincial Ministers in charge of roads and 
their Chief Engineers or other technical advisers ; and, if so desired by them, 
representatives of Indian States. The Road Engineer with the Government of 
India should be secretary to the Conference. In view of the interdepend- 
ence of roads and railways, it might be advantageous if meetings of the Con- 
ference were held at the same time and place as the annual Railway Conference, 
in order that subjects of mutual interest might be jointly discussed. 

89. The Road Conference would settle its own procedure and agenda, and 

there would be no limit to the subjects that 

Procedure of the Conference. ^ ^ sometimea 

found convenient to appoint sub-committees to examine questions, parti- 
cularly questions of a technical character, and report to the Conference. 
Subjects for discussion might include : 

(1) The classification of roads, and consideration of the classes on which 

grants from central revenues might properly be spent ; 

(2) The co-ordination of the road programmes of adjoining provinces 

and States ; 

(3) The co-ordination of road development with other systems of 

transport, especially railways and inland waterways ; 

(4) Technical questions i elating to the construction and maintenance 

of roads and bridges, and road research : 

(5) The taxation of road transport, methods of motor vehicle taxation, 

and the possibility of uniform taxation and reciprocal exemp- 
tions ; 

(6) Motor regulations, registration and licensing ; 

(7) Statistics and intelligence, including maps. 

The members of the Standing Committee for Roads, who would be mem- 
bers of the Conference, would naturally have regard to its views when 
considering projects for which grants from central revenues were requested. 
In this way, we think, the co-ordination of road development throughout 
India would be effectively influenced. 

90. As we have said, we consider that the creation of a separate Road 

Department in the Government of India 

Department of Communications?. IT i i 1-11 ITT 

r would be unnecessary and undesirable. We 

are of opinion that the functions of the Government of India in respect of roads 
can be efficiently performed by one of the existing departments, with the 
assistance of the Road Engineer with the Government of India whose appoint- 
ment we recommend. It has, however, been urged by many witnesses that 
all methods of communication should be dealt with by one department. We 
have repeatedly emphasised the interdependence of roads and railways ; and 
other Committees appointed by the Government of India in recent years have 
made similar recommendations. The Government of India Secretariat Pro- 
cedure Committee of 1919, in paragraph 19 of its report, recommended : 

" In the second place it appears to us that following the principles of 
allocation which we have laid down, there would be great ad- 
vantage in combining the various duties of Departments 


relating to Internal Transport and Communications in a single 
Department of Ways and Communications, which would em- 
brace Railways, Tramways, Internal Navigation, Ports and 
Docks, Posts and Telegraphs, Aviation and Road Traffic includ- 
ing Motor legislation." 

Again, the Indian Railway Committee of 1920-21 said in paragraph 98 
of its report : 

" The advantages of a close relationship between railways, ports, water 
transport and road transport are obvious. They need correla- 
tion by a common controlling authority ; they are feeders to 
each other, but at the same time their conflicting interests as 
carriers necessitate expert supervision and protection : all 
methods of transport are necessary for the development of India, 
and all new schemes, whether for transport by rail, road or 
water, require to be considered by the same authority ivs a part 
of a well-ordered general programme. Only Imperial questions 
connected with road transport would, under our scheme, come 
under the immediate supervision of the Ministry, local road 
questions being left, as now, to local authorities." 

Finally, the Indian Retrenchment Committee of 1923 recommended that 
a Communications Department should be constituted. We are of opinion 
that these recommendations should be reconsidered, and that the Government 
of India should again examine the possibility of bringing together all matters 
relating to communications and transport into one department. It is parti- 
cularly important, from the point of vew of this Committee, that the develop- 
ment of roads and railways should be directed by a single policy. 




91. It was represented to us that a local body in some cases may incur 

considerable expenditure on a road which is 

Contr,but,onby railways. 

way station, without much immediate benefit to the local area through which 
the road passes. In other cases, a local body may be financially unable to 
provide the feeder roads that the railway administration may require in order 
to develop its traffic. It was suggested that it would be reasonable and in 
the interests of the railway administration that it should contribute towards 
the construction and maintenance of such roads. It appears, however, from 
the evidence of the representatives of the Railway Board, that it is doubtful 
whether any contribution is legally possible, as the Indian Railways Act and 
the Devolution Rules now stand. If there were no legal disability, the railway 
administration would be prepared to consider each case on its merits as a com- 
mercial proposition. We are of opinion, therefore, that it would be desirable 
to make any amendments of the law or of the Devolution Rules that may be 
necessary for this purpose. 

92. It nas been argued that, as the Army is a central subject, the Govern- 

ment of India in the Army Department 

('ontn but ions from the Army should contribute towards the repair of 
ge " damage done to roads by military transport, 

or even towards the upkeep of roads which are of military value. It was 
admitted by the representatives of Army Headquarters that damage was 
done to roads by military transport, and it would seem to be not unfair 
that the ,cost of repair, which now falls on provincial revenues or local 
funds, should be relieved by a contribution from the Army budget. We 
also understand that in the North- West Frontier Province, when a road or 
bridge is required for military reasons to be of a higher class than is necessary 
for civil purposes, part of the cost is charged to the Army budget. We think 
that this principle should be extended to other provinces. For instance, 
we were told of one case where a local Government had proposed to build a 
causeway across a river at a cost of Rs. 4 lakhs, but at the request of the 
military authorities is now building a high level bridge at a cost of about Rs. 15 
lakhs. This would appear to be a case where part of the cost should be borne 
from the Army budget. 

93. It was suggested by several local bodies and by individual witnesses 

that the development of motor transport 

v . Monopolies of public motor ger- ftnd Qf ^ roa(} gygtem general , y would be 

* furthered by the grant of monopolies of the 

public motor services on certain roads. It was argued, firstly, that public 
motor services are now frequently run by persons without capital, in acute 
competition with one another with the result that the services are irregular, the 


vehicles employed are often unsafe and badly driven, and the travelling public is 
inconvenienced and sometimes endangered ; while a monopoly service would be 
operated with adequate finance and under proper supervision, so as to provide 
regular and efficient services at reasonable rates. Secondly, it was argued 
that this multiplicity of small services is seriously damaging the roads without 
making any direct contribution to the cost of repairs ; while monopolies might be 
sold for substantial amounts which might be an important addition to the 
funds available for expenditure on roads. We were informed that some local 
bodies had even received offers from private companies to construct and 
maintain a length of road in return for a monopoly of the public motor services 
on it for a term of years. On the other hand, it was urged that competition 
was in the public interest, that it kept fares at the lowest possible rate and 
forced bus owners to oblige the public and meet its requirements, and that the 
failure of a few individuals and occasional accidents were not enough to 
outweigh the accepted objections to monopolies. In our opinion, monopoly 
services are undesirable, because they restrict competition and may lead 
to many obvious abuses. It is clear, however, from the evidence that some 
limitation of the public motor services on certain roads may be required. 
We have already suggested in paragraph 83 that this limitation might be 
effected by an adjustment of the licence fees for vehicles plying for hire. 

94. We have referred in paragraph 63 to road tolls as a method of taxing 

q, l lfl motor transport, and it has been seen that in 

the Madras Presidency a substantial revenue 

is raised by local bodies from this source. Toll bars, which are usually about 
ten miles apart, are particularly obstructive to a rapid form of road transport, 
and it has frequently been urged that direct provincial taxation should be 
substituted for tolls on motor vehicles. In our opinion, however, the objection 
to tolls goes far beyond the obstruction to motor transport. We have received 
ajnple evidence of the harassment to traffic of all kinds, and there is a strong 
demand that tolls should be altogether abolished. It may be argued, indeed, 
that tolls are paid in direct proportion to the use made of the road, that they are 
paid in small sums which the road user can afford, and that they are traditional 
to the country and cannot readily be replaced by any other form of taxation. 
But it is not disputed that delay to traffic and annoyance to the public are 
inevitable incidents of the system. An additional objection is the practice of 
farming tolls, which diverts a considerable part of the receipts to the farmer. 
Tolls are a source of local taxation with which, as we have said, we are not 
directly concerned. We may, however, express a hope that tolls on all traffic 
will be abolished as soon as possible and be replaced where necessary by some 
form of taxation that is less vexatious to road transport. 

95. We would, however, except tolls on bridges, where a definite service is 

... provided to replace a ferry or a bad river 

Tolls cm bridges. J .. l . J . 

crossing. lolls in such cases may make a 

substantial contribution towards the cost of the work, without which perhaps 
it could not be undertaken. For instance, the tolls on the JSTerbudda bridge 
on the Bombay- Agra road, which was built at a cost of Rs. 4 lakhs, produce an 
average annual income of Rs. 25,000. It appeared from the evidence that the 
public was not averse in such cases to paying tolls for special facilities. 



Summary of recommendations. 

96. Our conclusions and recommendations may be summarised as 

Summary of recommendations. follows : 

A. The desirability of developing the road system of India. 

The development of the road system of India is desirable for the general 
welfare of the country as a whole, and in particular 

(a) for the better marketing of agricultural produce ; 

(b) for the social and political progress of the rural population, which will 

be advanced by the increased use of motor transport ; 

(c) as a complement to railway development. 

B. The means by which road development in India could most suitably be financed. 

(1) Road development in India is passing beyond the financial capacity of 
local Governments and local bodies, and is becoming a national 
interest which may, to some extent, be a proper charge on central 

(2) Road development, in so far as it contributes to the general welfare of 
the country as a whole, is a proper charge on general revenues 
but no increase in the expenditure on roads from existing revenues 
is recommended. 

t(3) To meet the additional demands and requirements created by the 
growth of motor transport, some additional taxation might be 
imposed on motor transport for purposes of road development 
over and above the existing taxation for general revenues. 

(4) A well-balanced scheme of additional taxation on motor transport 
for purposes of road development, should include 

(a) a duty on motor spirit ; 

(6) vehicle taxation ; 

(c) licence fees for vehicles plying for hire. 

{5) The duty on motor spirit might be raised again to 6 annas per 
gallon without affecting consumption, provided that the additional 
2 annas now imposed is spent on road development. 

{6) The amount so realised would be Rs. 62 lakhs on the figures of 1927- 
28, but the consumption of petrol has been increasing annually 


at the rate of 30 per cent compound interest. Further, if the 
time arrives when it is possible to abolish or reduce taxation on 
motor spirit for general revenues, the Government of India might 
consider the desirability of retaining the tax for purposes of road 

(7) An effort should be made to induce the oil companies to co-operate 

with the railway administration in reducing the price of petrol in 
inland towns. 

(8) The duty on motor spirit is a source of central revenue, and grant 

from central revenues for road development can only be made 
through the constitutional processes prescribed by the Govern- 
ment of India Act. 

(9) As grants for road development cannot be used effectively unless 

some continuity is assured, a convention should be established 
for five years, whereby the Legislative Assembly would annually 
vote the proceeds of the additional duty on motor spirit as a block 
grant for expenditure on road development. This annual grant 
should be credited to a separate road development account, and 
unexpended balances should not lapse at the end of the financial 

(10) The Legislative Assembly should continue to exercise control over 

the expenditure of the annual grant in two ways 

(a) The general principles in accordance with which the grant should 
be spent should be approved by the Assembly ; 

(6) A Standing Committee of the Indian legislature for Roads should 
be appointed, similar in constitution and functions to other 
departmental Standing Committees, which would advise 
the Governor General in Council on all matters relating 
to roads ; and all proposals for expenditure from the 
annual grant should be submitted for approval to a Finance 
sub-committee, consisting of the Member of the Governor 
General's Executive Council in charge as Chairman and all. 
members of the Standing Committee who are members of 
the Legislative Assembly. 

(11) The annual grant should be divided as follows 

(a) One-sixth should be retained by the Government of India as a 
reserve ; 

(6) Out of the remaining five-sixths 

(i) An apportionment should be made among the provinces in the 
ratio which the consumption of petrol in each province 
bears to the total consumption in India in each year; 


(ii) The balance, representing the consumption of petrol in minor 
provinces and administrations and Indian States, should be 
allotted as a lump sum to the Government of India. 

If any part of the amount apportioned to a province remains un- 
expended at the end of the financial year, it should be carried 
over for expenditure in that province in "the following year. 

(12} Grants should be made to each province, up to the amount so 
apportioned to it in each year, for expenditure on projects 
approved by the Governor General in Council with the advice of 
the Standing Committee of the Indian legislature for Roads. 

(13) The amount apportioned to Burma may for the present be spent on 

any scheme of road development that^is approved by the local 
Government and the local legislature. But if at any future time 
the question of road connection with India becomes a live issue, 
the position should be reconsidered. 

(14) Vehicle taxes and licence fees for vehicles plying for hire are 

sources of provincial or local revenue, and it is entirely for local 
Governments, local legislatures and local bodies to decide what 
additional taxation of this kind could be borne by motor transport 
for purposes of road development. 

(15) Except in certain areas vehicle taxation has scarcely been adopted 

as a method of taxing motor transport ; and in view of the recent 
substantial reduction of central taxation for general revenues, this 
source of revenue for road development might with advantage be 

(16) There is a general desire that vehicle taxation should be provincial 

rather than local, and that a system of reciprocal exemptions 
should be arranged so that each vehicle would be taxed only at the 
place of registration. 

(17) The scale of licence fees for vehicles plying for hire depends on local 

conditions, but it might be considered by the authorities con- 
cerned whether licence fees might not be pitched so as to limit the 
number of vehicles plying on any road to the number that the 
road can economically carry. 

(18) The propriety of financing road development from loans must be 

decided by each local Government for itself according to its cir- 
cumstances, but certain principles of general application are 

(19) Loans should be borrowed in the ordinary way on the security of the 

revenues of India, and not on the security of a special road develop- 
ment tax. 

(20) Village roads should benefit indirectly by the release of provincial 

revenues and local funds which are now being spent on main 
roads to meet the requirements ot roojxpr transport. In view of 

the importance of village roads in the general scheme of com- 
munications, it is hoped that they will receive more attention 
and larger grants from local Governments and local bodies in 

C. Th* coordination of road development. 

(1) The appointment of a Central Road Board with executive powers, 

administering a separate road fund, is not recommended. 

(2) A periodical Road Conference, consisting of the Member of the 

Governor General's Executive Council in charge as Chairman, 
the members of the Standing Committee of the Indian legislature 
for Roads, representatives of the departments of the Government 
of India concerned with roads, representatives of the local Gov- 
ernments and, if so desired by them, of Indian States, should 
meet from time to time to discuss subjects of common interest, 
and might appoint sub-committees to examine questions of a 
technical character and report to the Conference. 

(3) A separate Road Department in the Government cf India would be 

unnecessary and undesirable ; but a Road Engineer with the 
Government of India should be attached to the department that 
deals with roads. 

(4) The Government of India should reconsider the recommendations of 

previous Committees that all matters relating to communications 
and transport should be dealt with by one department. 

D. Miscellaneous. 

(1) The Indian Railways Act and the Devolution Rules should be 

amended so as to enable the railway administration to contribute 
towards the construction and maintenance of feeder roads, 

(2) A contribution should be made from the Army budget towards the 

cost of repairing damage done to roads by military transport ; 
and when a road or bridge is required for military reasons to be of 
higher class than is necessary for civil purposes, part of the cost 
should be borne from the Army budget. 

(3) Monopolies of public motor services on roads are undesirable. 

(4) Road tolls on all traffic should be abolished as soon as possible, 

except tolls on bridges where a definite service is provided to 
replace a ferry or a bad river crossing. 

97. In conclusion we wish to thank local Governments and local bodies 
Acknowledgments. for the assistance they have given us in 

our enquiry, and also individual witnesses 
who frequently came from long distances to give evidence before us. 


Our grateful acknowledgments are due to our Secretary, Mr. H. F. Knight, 
and our Technical Adviser, Mr. K. G. Mitchell, to Mr. H. N. Khanna, Super- 
intendent, and the subordinate staff for their valuable assistance. 

M. R. JAYAKAR, Chairman. 













NOTE. Hiwan Chanian Lai agreed to the conclusions reached by the 
Committee at its meetings at Bombay in April, but owing to his absence 
from India lie was jinable to be present at Poona in July \\hen the report 
was considered. 







I. Resolution of the Government of India appointing the Committee . . 61 
II. Report of the touring sub -commit tee ....... 63 

Supplementary Report on the Punjab ...... 82 

III. Statistical Statements- 

Statement A. Road mileage according to classes and types in 1926-27 88 
Statement B. Area, population and density of population . . 92 

Statement C. Distribution of road mileage according to area and 

population ........ 93 

Statement I>. Expenditure on roads in 1926-27 .... 94 

Statement E. Percentages of provincial, local and total revenues 
spent on roads, and incidence of road expenditure 
per head of population ..... 98 

Statement F. Provincial and local expenditure on roads from rev- 
enue in the year 1913-14 and in the four years 1923-24 
to 1926-27 99 

Statement G. Expenditure on road construction and maintenance 
from revenue in the year 1913-14 and in the four 
years 1923-24 to 1926-27 100 

Statement K. Surfaced mileage in the year 1913-14 and in the four 

years 1923-24 bo 1926-27 101 

Statement J. Present cost of annual maintenance and construction 

of roads in different provinces .... 102 

Statement K. Contributions from provincial revenues to local bodies 

for expenditure on roads in 1926-27 . . . 103 

Statement L. Imports of motor vehicles, parts and accessories, and 

of tyres and tubes. ...... 104 

Statement M. Production, consumption and retail price of petrol in 

India 105 

Statement N. Duty on motor vehicles, etc., and on motor spirit . 106 

IV. Progress made in India with improved forms of road surfaces . . . 107 
V. Fedeial Highway Act of 1921 of the United States of America . . . 147 



Resolution of the Government of India appointing the Committee. 

Department of Commerce Resolution No. 489-T. (1), dated New 
Delhi, the 3rd November 1927. 

The following Resolution on the subject of road development was unani- 
mously adopted by the Council of State on the 9th February 1927 : 

" That this Council recommends to the Governor General in Council, 
to appoint a Committee, including members of both Houses of 
the Central Legislature to examine the desirability of develop- 
ing the road system of India, the means by which such develop- 
ment could be most suitably financed, and to consider the 
formation of a Central Road Board for the purpose of advising 
in regard to, and co-ordinating the policy in respect of, road 
development in India." 

2. In accordance with this Resolution the Governor General in Council 
after consultation with the local Governments, has decided to appoint a Com- 
mittee, consisting of members of the two Chambers of the Indian Legislature, 
with the following terms of reference : 

(1) To examine the desirability of developing the road system of India 

and, in particular, the means by which such development could 
most suitably be financed ; and 

(2) To consider, with due regard to the distribution of central and 

provincial functions, whether it is desirable that steps should 
be taken for the co-ordination of road development and research 
in road construction, by the formation of a Central Road Board 
or otherwise. 

3. The following gentlemen have agreed to serve on the Committee : 

Chairman : 

Mr. M. R. JAYAKAR, Bar-at-Law, M.L.A. 

Members : 


2. The Hon'ble Sir GEOFFREY CORBETT, K.B.E., C.I.E., I.C.S. 

3. The Hon'ble Sir ARTHUR FROOM, Kt. 



6. Lala LAJPAT RAI, M.L.A. 




10. The Hon'ble Dr. U. RAMA RAU. 



13. MR. E. F. SYKES, M.L.A. 


Mr. H. F. Knight, I.C.S., will act as Secretary and Mr. K. G. Mitchell, 
A.C.G.I., A.M.I.C.E., A.M.Inst.T., as Technical Adviser to the Committee. 

4. The Committee will assemble immediately at New Delhi to decide its 
procedure. It is desired that the Committee should obtain and consider the 
views of all local Governments, and should also examine such persons, associa- 
tions and other bodies as it thinks necessary. Persons who desire to be called 
as witnesses should apply in writing to the Secretary, care of Department 
of Commerce, Government of India, New Delhi, giving their full names and 
addresses, together with a brief memorandum of the points on which they 
desire to give evidence. 

5. The Government of India hope that local Governments and Adminis- 
trations will afford the Committee all the assistance which it may require and 
will comply with any request for information which may be addressed to them 
by it. 



Report of the touring sub-committee, 

At a meeting of the Road Development Committee held on the 6th 
November 1927 at New Delhi, the following Sub-Committee to tour the 
provinces in order to collect information was appointed: 

Chairman : % 
The Hon'ble Sir ARTHUR FROOM, KT. 

Members : 


with Mr. K. G. MITCHELL, Technical Adviser and Mr. H. F. 
KNIGHT, I.C.S., Secretary. 

It was also decided that other members of the Committee should join 
the Sub-Committee in their respective provinces when it goes to the head- 
quarters of the local Governments of those provinces. The Sub-Com- 
mittee was accordingly assisted in their inquiries by Mr. Md. Anwarul 
Azim, M.L.A., in Calcutta, the Jlon'blo Dr. II. Kama Kau and Mr. K. V. 
Rangaswamy Ayyangar, M.L.A., in Madras, and by Mr. E. F. Sykes, 
M.L.A., in Bombay. 


The Sub-Committee's instructions were : 

" (a) The Sub-Committee should obtain information from local 
Governments, local bodies and associations interested in road 
development on the points included in the questionnaire, and 
secure that the information supplied from each province is 
as uniform and complete as possible. 

(&) The Sub-Committee, before proceeding on tour, should 
request local Governments to supply their own officials and 
local bodies and associations with copies of the questionnaire, 
and ask them to be prepared to meet the Sub-Committee and 
furnish the information required. 

(c) The answers to the questionnaire are to be compiled province 

by province and to be printed and circulated to members of 
the full Committee as completed. 

(d) The Sub-Committee should not examine representatives of the 

Railway Department or of Army Headquarters who will be 
invited to give evidence before the full Committee." 

Our programme was sent to Members of the Committee on the 15th Novem- 
ber 1927. We found it impossible in the time available to visit Burma or 
Karachi, and have had to leave until after Christmas the visit to Lahore 
concerning which we will submit a separate report. 

We visited Allahabad, Shillong, Calcutta, Patna, Nagpur, Madras 
and Bombay and held informal discussions on road development with 

14 Honourable Members and Honourable Ministers of local Govern- 

37 Secretaries, Chief Engineers and other representatives of local 

54 representatives of District Boards. 

51 representatives of Commercial and other Associations. 

14 private individuals. 

Memoranda of all these discussions are being sent to Members. We also 
inspected improved methods of road construction in Calcutta, Patna and 
Bombay, and visited the Government Test House, Alipore. 

2. We take it that the Road Development Committee do not desire 
the Sub-Committee to discuss in detail the answers received to the ques- 
tionnaire as these are all being printed and despatched to Members of the 
Committee who will wish to form their own opinions thereon. This Report 
therefore is confined mainly to the information obtained by us as the 
result of discussions during our tour. There is no need to give the his- 
tory of roads in India with which the Members are sufficiently acquainted, 

but it must be admitted that, compared with many other countries, the 
Indian road system is undeveloped : 

Nine Major Provinces of India. 

United States of America. 

Density of Population 240 


Per 100 sq. 
miles of 

100,000 of 

Per 100 sq. 
miles of 

100,000 of 

Mileage of all roads . . 
Surfaced roads 

Percentage of roads 







On our tour we found that the backwardness of the Indian road sys- 
tem was universally recognised, and considerable enthusiasm was shown 
for road development. The recent development of motor passenger trans- 
port is appreciated as bringing the facility of rapid travel within reach 
of millions of the population down to the poorest; while the value of good 
roads to the cultivator bringing his produce to market is shown by the 
insistent demand for improved roads and new roads in every province. 
But, at the same time, the increase of traffic of recent years has led to 
anxiety as to how roads can be kept up under modern conditions with 
the money and material available. 



3. The experience of our tour shows that an improvement in the 
present unsatisfactory condition of roads in India is eagerly looked for, 
and we found an almost universal agreement that it is desirable to consti- 
tute a Central Eoad Board with advisory functions to co-ordinate road 
development, especially on all-India and inter-Provincial roads, to co- 
ordinate the development of Roads and Railways and to stimulate and 
co-ordinate research into road-making. It was equally recognised that a 
corollary to such a Central Board must be Provincial Road Boards or 
Provincial Communications Boards. Such already exist in the Punjab, 
the Tlnited Provinces, the Central Provinces, Assam, Madras and Bombay. 
In some quarters the view was expressed that in order to give productive 
effect to the generally expressed wish for road development in India a 
Central Board of Communications or a Ministry of Transport should be 
constituted with executive powers. 

We received complaint that when consideration is taken of the import 
duties on motor cars, on tyres, and spare parts, and of the present petrol 
excise, motor vehicles are already heavily taxed indirectly and there is a 
general demand for a reduction in the present import duties or for an 
equivalent assignment from Central Revenues to road development. 

4. It was equally recognised that an immediate improvement of roads 
is impossible without additional funds and we found very general agree- 
ment that the best method of obtaining this would be by means of an 
increase in the excise and customs duty on petrol, the amount produced 
by this increase being exclusively devoted to road development. The 
increase most generally suggested was 2 annas per gallon but there was a 
certain body of opinion that favoured a 4 annas increase. 

The advantages of such a tax appear to be : 
(i) ease and cheapness of collection; 
(ii) impossibility of evasion; and 
(Hi) fairness as proportioning the tax to road use. 
It was, however, strongly emphasized before us by almost all 

(i) that the proceeds of such increase in the excise would have to 
be definitely earmarked for roads, if such a tax is to meet 
with public approval ; and 

(n) that under modern conditions, the present excise of 4 annas on 
petrol conflicts with the principle that transport should not 
be taxed except for the benefit of transport, and that, as 
soon as finances permit, the present excise should be diverted 
to road development. 

5. As to how funds raised by the Central Government for road develop- 
ment should be spent, or should be allotted among the provinces, we 
found less agreement. The simplest method of division i.e., that each 
province should receive its share of the extra 2 annas excise on petrol 
according to the amount of petrol consumed in that province was in 
favour in Bengal and Bombay. But this was objected to in some other 
provinces on the following grounds : 

(i) The heavy consumption of petrol in the cities of Calcutta and 
Bombay would result in Bengal and Bombay provincial 
revenues obtain in <? an excessive share. 


(M) The object of the Central Road Board would be the develop- 
ment of the roads of India as a whole and assistance to pro- 
vinces based on the fortuitous position of large cities would 
be unfair. 

It appeared to us that there is force in these objections and we have 
therefore sought for other methods of distribution, and discussed them 
with local Governments and others. It was not to be expected that a 
single formula would satisfy the representatives of every province who 
naturally wish to do their best for the finances of their province, and 
therefore favour such distribution as will give it the largest share. But 
we found universal agreement that a definite formula for fixing the share 
\\hich any province might get from any Central Road Development Funds 
is necessary, in order to enable provinces to map out programmes of road 
development ahead. 

We think that division on something on the lines adopted in the 
United States of America would meet >\ith acceptance. For example, 
any funds made available from Central taxation might be divided among 
the provinces as follows : 

(1) one-fourth of the total should be divided among provinces 

according to their proportionate area to their total area ; 

(2) one-fourth of the total should be divided among provinces ac- 

cording to their proportionate population to their total popu- 
lation ; 

(3) one-fourth of the total should be divided among Mie provinces 

according to the proportion of their total annual expenditure on 
road maintenance in all the provinces : 

(4) one-fourth of the total should be divided among the provinces 

according to their proportionate petrol consumption to the 
total petrol consumption. 

The addition of the shares under each of these factors would give each 
province's total grant* 1 We realise, and those whom we met also realised, 
that there are criticisms applicable to each factor, e.g., 

(1) Total area would benefit a province with a large desert or forest 
area where roads may not be needed ; 

(2) Population would be to the disadvantage of a sparsely popu- 
lated province where roads must needs be long ; 

(.'*) Expenditure on roads takes no account whether the money is 
well spent or wasted, and it favours a rich province at the expense of a 
poor one ; 

(4) Petrol consumption is open to the objection that it unduly favours 
provinces with large cities. 

But, in view of our informal discussions with many person^ during our 
tour, we have formed the opinion that the Committee may find it possible 
to reach an agreed basis for division accepted by the provinces in this or 
some similar formula. 

*We have not considered the position of the territories directly under the Govern- 
ment of India or of the Indian States in any such petrol excise revenue. We presume 
that they will receive a share, whetner directly or indirectly, from the Government of 
India, provided they participate in a unified road development policy. 


As a basis for discussion we have tentatively worked out the effect of 
some various formulas suggested. A 2 annas petrol excise is likely to 
yield Rs. 60 lakhs, or possibly more in 1927-28, and, as part of this would 
go to the share of the administered territories and Indian States, we have 
assumed that Rs. 50 lakhs would be available for distribution among the 
major provinces. (On 7 months' figures for 1927, Rs. 46 lakhs would be 
the share of the provinces, but the latter part of the year is likely to raise 
this figure we have therefore assumed Rs. 50 lakhs as available). The 
figures we give below are merely approximate and may be liable to modifica- 
tion when more accurate information as to provincial expenditure on roads 
arid provincial petrol consumption becomes available. 

The figures give the share in lakhs of the provinces from a Central 
Fund of Rs. 50 lakhs : 

























United Province's 


















Bihar & Orissa 






Central Provinces 


















I. This is the share due to each province on a basis of proportionate 
petrol consumption alone. 

II. This combines the two factors of : 

(i) provincial expenditure on road and 
(ii) petrol consumption. 

III. This combines the four factors of : 

(i) gross area, 

(ii) population, 

(Hi) road expenditure from revenue and 
(iv) petrol consumption. 

IV. This combines the four factors of : 

(i) area, taken as whole cultivated area of the province plus 
i the uncultivated area, to obviate the effect of areas 
which require no roads. 


() population, 
(Hi) road expenditure and 
(iv) petrol consumption. 

V. This combines the same four factors as IV, but to meet the objec- 
tion that provinces which provide the most petrol revenue should receive 
consideration for this, the petrol consumption factor is given value double 
that of each of the other factors. 

6. As regards the objects on which such a Central Road Develop- 
ment Fund might be spent, we found an impression in some places that, 
in the imposition of a central petrol tax, the Central Government woiilci 
be merely acting as agent for the provinces in collecting a petrol excise 
to take the place of a provincial motor vehicle tax, and that the pro- 
ceeds should be handed over to local Governments to spend as they 

It appeared to us, however, that this was not contemplated by the 
terms of reference to the Committee which seems to postulate in the 
first place a comprehensive development of the roads of India as a 
whole rather than the immediate augmentation of provincial funds for 
roads in general, and we think we have indicated this sufficiently to 
those whom we met and general agreement was reached that the 
primary objects of expenditure should be the development of roads of 
all-India or inter-Provincial importance. We recognise however that in 
framing any classification of roads as of all-India or inter-Provincial 
importance, special consideration will be necessary in the case of certain 
provinces where through routes are few or impossible It should be 
possible however for the Central Road Board, if and when constituted, 
to settle this problem of classification. It was impressed upon us how- 
ever that under no consideration should any part of the share in the 
Central Fund falling to one province be diverted to any other province. 

7. It is clear that the proceeds of the additional proposed 2 annas 
increase in the petrol excise, which is estimated to produce about Rs. 60 
lakhs in 1927-28, will not, when divided among the provinces, allow of 
large schemes of road development from revenue, and we found an almost 
universal demand that the proceeds of such an additional 2 annas petrol 
excise should be made available to provide for interest and sinking fund 
charges on capital road expenditure incurred out of loan funds by pro- 
\incial Governments. We see no objection to this ; it is universally re 
cognised that expenditure on construction and reconstruction of bridges- 
and culverts and on some of the more permanent items of road-making, such 
as embankments, can be rightly incurred out of capital, and provided care 
is taken not to finance short-lived work, such as surfacing, out of loan, the 
policy is sound. An annual revenue of Rs. 60 lakhs from petrol excise 
would allow an immediate capital expenditure of about Rs. 9 crores on a 
30 year basis borrowing at *5J per cent But the objection has been put to 
us that provincial Governments will hesitate to undertake such fresh capital 
expenditure unless they can be assured of the recurring income from the 
petrol excise needed to provide the interest and sinking fund charges on 
their loans, and it was suggested to us that it would be advisable to earmark 
this petrol excise by the constitution of a statutory Road Fund, to which it 
should be annually paid, in order to ensure that funds might be continuously 
available in the future to assist local Governments. 


We suggest that the Committee might consider whether the Legisla- 
ture would be likely to agree to such a proposal, which not only appears 
in consonance with road development in other countries but has received 
the support of every person, official and non-official, who has discussed 
the matter with us. 

If a statutory Road Fund be established, with an agreed formula for 
division among the provinces, then local Governments could embark 
on loans for road development with the guarantee of certain annual 
sums available for interest and sinking fund. Such guaranteed income 
seems imperative if any substantial progress in road development is to 
be made in the near future. 

8. We report to the Committee that public opinion generally is in 
favour of the following proposals: 

(0 The desirability of an Advisory Central Road Board ; 
(ii) The imposition of an extra 2 annas excise on petrol to form a 
Central Fund, the proceeds to be earmarked for road develop- 
ment ; 

(Hi) The division of the proceeds among the provinces on an accept- 
ed formula ; 

(iv) The proceeds to be spent primarily on roads of all-India or 

inter-Provincial importance ; 
(v) Such expenditure to be additional to, and not in place of, any 

normal provincial expenditure on roads ; 
(vi) The Central Fund should be available to finance interest and 

sinking fund charges on capital road works constructed out 

of loan by provincial Governments ; 
(vii) For this purpose the provinces should be assured annual 

receipt of their shares by the constitution of a permanent 

Road Fund. 



9. The terms of reference to the Committee are : 

(1) To examine the desirability of developing the road system of 

India and, in particular, the means by which such develop- 
ment could most suitably be financed ; and 

(2) To consider, with due regard to 1he distribution of central and 

provincial functions, whether it is desirable that steps should 
be taken for the co-ordination of road development and re- 
search in road construction, by the formation of a Central 
Road Board or otherwise ; 

and it was clear from these terms of reference that it was impossible to 
avoid consideration of provincial road problems, nor did those whom we 
met desire us to do o, and, at the same time, it is equally clear that the 
provision of roads to reach the mass of the population must bo the concern 01 
the provincial Governments and the various local authorities. 

We were informed in several provinces that roads in general are 
deteriorating, and that modern traffic is demanding more expensive forms 
of road construction, while provincial and local authorities' revenues are 
not expanding to meet these needs. It was clear that there is general 
recognition of the need for more and better roads, but that the financial 
difficulty is in the way. 

No panacea to remedy this was suggested to us, but from our dis- 
cussions we conclude that public opinion is in favour of certain changes 
in road management. In several provinces there are in existence Road 
Boards or Communications Hoards of an advisory character, and with the 
assistance of such bodies, it should not be difficult to draw up a classifica- 
tion of roads in each provinc* 1 into, c <j., 

(i) all-India arterial roads, 

(ii) provincial roads, i.e., main roads necessary for internal com- 
munication between divisions or districts, 
(Hi) district roads, which would primarily serve the needs of a 

single district, and 
(w) village roads 

It was put to us that the all-India roads should be maintained by pro- 
vincial funds with aid from the Central Fund, that provincial roads 
should be maintained by provincial funds without cost to local authorities, 
that district roads should be maintained by local authorities with or with- 
out aid from provincial funds, and that village roads should be maintained 
by local authorities only. 

10. The reasons given for relieving local authorities from the up- 
keep of provincial main roads in those cases where such are not main- 
tained by the local Government, were 

(i) that District Boards, with their inelastic revenues and the 
pressing demands of education and sanitation, cannot afford 
to keep up their roads to modern standards; 

(ii) that in many cases the District Boards are able only to take 
account of the needs of their own district, and, where an 
important provincial main road runs through a district, the 
District Board tends to maintain only such portion as is of 
local importance ; 


(w) owing to the varying efficiency and varying finances of various 
District Boards, the upkeep of through roads varies undesir- 
ably from district to district. 

This proposal was generally favoured, and the system suggested appears 
necessary for any comprehensive road development. Some such classi- 
fication of roads has been found necessary in almost every country. 

11. The exact method of ' Provincialisation ' of main provincial roads, 
where such are not already in charge of the Public Works Department, 
would have to depend on local conditions. Some Presidents of District 
Boards desired that the local Government should assume entire charge of 
such roads through the Public Works Department. Others preferred that 
the local Governments should pay the local bodies the cost of mainten- 
ance and leave the work to be done by the District Board staff, with 
inspection by the Public Works Department officers. We were informed 
that the latter system was found satisfactory in Berar, and to some 
extent in Madras, but elsewhere opinion was not so favourable to it. 
We suggest that maintenance by the Public Works Department or by 
District Board staff must depend on the individual efficiency of District 
Boards and that no hard and fast rule is possible, but that the primary 
object of good roads must be kept in view uninfluenced by other con- 
siderations, and that, prirna facie, divided control is undesirable. 

A further proviso which we were asked should be laid down, was that 
in the event of local authorities being relieved of the cost of f Provincial ' 
roads, this should not lead to a diminution of the total amount spent on 
roads by a local authority. It was pointed out to us that the pressing need 
of education is apt to absorb the available funds of local authorities, and 
that if more money be provided by the local Government for roads, such 
must be in addition to, and not in place of, any money previously spent on 
roads. This appears to us reasonable, and we suggest the Committee might 
indicate to local Governments the necessity of control in this direction ; 
without such proviso, the release of money previously spent by District 
Boards on ' Provincial ' roads will lead to no improvement in district 
roads which concern the cultivator most closely. The main object in 
furthering any road development of India is to ameliorate the economic 
condition of the agriculturist. 

12. The proposal that local Governments should take over the main 
inter-division and inter-district roads in each province will involve in most 
cases a further charge on provincial revenues, and we agree that in most 
provinces revenue is not expanding and that a further increase in general 
taxation is undesirable. 

That roads should be largely supported out of general revenues is an 
axiom which we do not dispute. The benefits to a country of a system 
of good roads are almost incalculable : in particular in India with a very 
large agricultural population, whose livelihood largely depends on their 
ability to take the produce of their fields to market, good roads are an 
especial need. This we found recognised everywhere and we wish that 
funds permitted the provision of a road to every village. We might also 
draw attention to the Note* on Highway Finance by Mr. J. N. Willys, of 
which copies have been sent to Members, in which he shows that the good 
roads in the United States of America are not the result of the country's 

*Not printed. 


prosperity but the prosperity of the country is largely the result of a 
forward policy in financing 1 road construction "out of general revenues, with 
the effect that now in America motor vehicle taxation is practically sufficient 
for the maintenance of roads. We do not, of course, surest that such a 
condition of affairs can be attained in India in the near future, but, while 
holding that much road expenditure should be met from general revenues, 
we are of opinion that certain classes who particularly benefit from roads 
e.g., those who use them whether by bullock cart or motor car or other 
vehicles should bear an additional share in road maintenance beyond 
whatever they may contribute to the upkeep of roads through their pay- 
ment to general revenues. 

13. To deal first with Motor Vehicles. We find there is little uni- 
formity in their taxation, apart from the indirect taxation effected by the 
import duties on cars, accessories, tyres, and by the petrol excise. The 
forms of taxation now in force are : 

(i) Vehicle registration fee on purchase. Es. 16 to 20, usually 
not a recurring charge, though in some provinces an annual 
renewal fee of Rs. 2 or so is in force. This " taxation " is 
primarily imposed for Police control on motor vehicles, and 
it has been recognised (see the Taxation Enquiry Committee's 
report, para. 319) that the charges should be calculated only 
to cover the cost of administration concerned. 

(n) Direct provincial taxation. This only exists in the Punjab, 
where it is calculated on seating capacity. (See Punjab Act 
IV of 1924.) The U. P. provincial taxation was repealed. 
Bombay and Bengal had proposed provincial petrol taxation 
before the Committee was started. 

(Hi) Direct local taxation. This, with the exception of one or two- 
Local Boards in the Central Provinces, is only levied by 
municipalities ; and Local Boards, whose roads are largely 
used by motor vehicles, receive nothing. The rates vary from 
the high scale of Bombay Rs. 80 per annum and upwards 
to a few rupees a year in smaller municipalities. 

(iv) Indirect municipal taxation by octroi or terminal tax on petrol, 
tyres, etc. This is probably not a serious item as no com- 
plaints were received. 

(v) Tolls. These vary in the provinces; in Madras it was stated 
to us that the total revenue raised from motor vehicles in 
the form of road toll was about Rs. 9 lakhs. (We were 
informed that in Madras the direct local taxation of motor 
vehicles and the tolls levied on motor vehicles were together 
equivalent to a tax of Rs. 100 per annum per car.) 

With the exception of Madras and Bombay City, it was generally felt 
ihat there is room for further taxation of motor vehicles for provincial 
revenues without hampering the development of transport, and we suggest 
to the Committee that local Governments be advised to raise some of the 
money required for roads by means of provincial motor vehicle taxation. 

^ 14. We have not thought it within our province to examine closely the 
varied possible methods of taxation of motor vehicles. The Departmental 


Committee on the Taxation and Regulation of Road Vehicles in Great 
Britain considered the following methods : 

4< (A) The present system (i.e., taxation by horse-power) to be 
abolished entirely, and a motor spirit duty substituted. 

(B) Taxation to be based on unladen weight, with or without an 

additional percentage for load, and with a rebate on 
vehicles fitted with pneumatic tyres. 

(C) Combinations of A and B, or of A and the present system. 

(D) Tax to be based on a combination of horse-power and weight, 

or upon a combination of horse-power, weight, and nature 
of tyres. 

(E) A wheel tax varying according to the type of vehicle, com- 

bined with a motor spirit duty of Id. per gallon. 

(F) Taxation on an ad valorem basis for all vehicles, with a sliding 

scale according to the age of the vehicle, and a duty of 
2d. per gallon on imported motor spirit. 

(G) Taxation to be based upon a combination of horse-power tax 

and a petrol duty, with a reduction in favour of pneumatic 
tyres. Also an increased tax for trailers. 

(H) Taxation to be based upon a combination of weight and mile- 
age, or a combination of weight, mileage and nature of 

(7) Vehicles with internal combustion engines to be taxed on the 
cubic capacity of the engine cylinder^, regardless of Mie 
purpose to which the vehicle is put ; other mechanically- 
propelled vehicles to be taxed on unladen weight. 
(J) The remaining suggestions were merely for the partial amend- 
ment of the present scheme, e.g., heavier taxation of trac- 
tion engines in view of their noise and the wear and tear 
caused by them to the roads, etc." 

Provinces may have individual preferences for certain forms of taxa- 
tion and we have not yet had the opportunity of discussion in the Punjab, 
which is the only province with a provincial motor vehicle tax in operation. 

We would, however, express the opinion that the simpler and the less 
liable to any evasion tax may be the better. Tn one city we were informed 
that out of some Rs. 5 lakhs to Rs 6 lakhs that should be collected from 
a corporation motor vehicle tax, only Rs. 2^ lakhs were actually received. 

15. The general opinion given to us was that motor vehicle taxation 
should be provincial and not local with the proviso that local bodies who now 
draw revenue from motor vehicles would have to be compensated, if pro- 
vincial were substituted for local motor vehicle taxation. This is in accord 
with the views of the Taxation Enquiry Committee. In some places, how- 
ever, the opinion was expressed that the abolition of local motor vehicle 
taxation would be considered an interference with Local Self -Government 
and that the power to impose such taxation was of educative value to such 

We admit the force of this contention, but in view of the majority of 
public opinion in accord with the principle of provincial as against local 
taxation, the probable financial benefits to local finances from a motor 
vehicle tax collected provincially, and the convenience of the motor owner, 


we suggest to the Committee that it might recommend to local Govern- 
ments the propriety of provincial motor vehicle taxation with the aboli- 
tion of local motor vehicle taxation, as an ideal to be aimed at as soon as 
circumstances permit. The proposal was actually under consideration in 
Madras before our visit. 

16. We further found a body of opinion which favoured the imposi- 
tion of a petrol excise to take the place of all other taxation on motor 
vehicles, a proportion of this to compensate local Governments, and local 
authorities for loss of their motor vehicle taxation. Undoubtedly, such 
taxation has very great advantages : 

(i) It would cost no more to collect than the present petrol excise. 
(ii) It would be impossible of evasion at least until an alternative 

motor fuel is available. 
(in) It would be equitable as proportioning tax paid to the use 

made of the roads. 

(iv) It would be indirect and not perhaps felt so much as a lump 
annual motor vehicle tax. 

In theory we would endorse it, and with this most of those we met 
cordially agree. 

17. In practice, however, difficulties would arise, e.g., the rate of 
excise would have to be a flat one throughout all India, as the petrol 
excise iw collected at source in Burma, and this rate would have to be cal- 
culated so as to compensate the province with the highest rate of motor 
vehicle taxation, either provincial or local, for its loss by abolition of such 
taxation. This would involve in the case of Madras an extra 6 annas. 
excise on petrol, and this rate would probably be higher than other prov- 
inces would desire. 

Further, an immediate increase of 8 annas per gallon (2 annas for 
Central Road Fund ; 6 annas for provincial tax) in the price of petrol 
would undoubtedly be resented by the public even if relieved of other taxa- 
tion. Also, it is probable that some provinces may wish to retain power to 
tax motor vehicles on particular lines, e.g., to tax motor buses lightly as 
being of public service, or to tax them heavily as destroying the roads. 
We therefore cannot at present recommend a unified system of motor 
vehicle taxation through petrol alone. 

18. We have, however, been sufficiently impressed with the great ad- 
vantages of such a tax to consider seriously the following suggestion made 
to us, that, in addition to the 2 annas increase in the petrol excise which 
we have proposed for a Central Fund, a further 2 annas should be added 
to the excise and distributed- solely on the basis of the proportionate eon- 
sumption of petrol among the provinces, as a form of provincial motor 
vehicle taxation. What use the provinces should make of any revenue so 
received would, of course, be a matter for consideration by provincial 
Governments. In Madras we were informed that it would probably be 
utilised to reduce the local and municipal taxation on motor vehicles. In 
some provinces it might suffice to abolish entirely such local taxation and, 
after providing compensation to local authorities for such abolition, leave 
a surplus to the local Government. In other provinces where local taxa- 
tion is light, or justified by local circumstances, it might^be utilised for 
general road purposes. But, in view of the opinions given to us, the 


Committee might consider the suggestion to Local Governments that a pro- 
posed introduction of a provincial 2 annas petrol excise should have, as 
its object, the taxation of those motor vehicles which at present escape 
local taxation entirely or which are inadequately taxed, and that it should 
not be used to increase the burden on those motor vehicles which pay 
already adequate taxation. The local taxation of this last might be ad- 
justed so that after the introduction of the proposed 2 annas provincial 
excise, they should not have to pay m all more than they are now paying, 

We do not, of course, suggest that provinces should be compelled to 
adopt such taxation, but the scheme appears to us to provide a very satis- 
factory form of provincial motor vehicle taxation, while preserving the 
local Governments ' Tight either to impose further provincial taxation where 
desirable or to leave with local bodies the power of motor vehicle taxation 
for the present. We would suggest, however, that if local Governments 
leave to local authorities this power, it should be only up to maxima fixed on 
the conditions of each local authority, and with the proviso that all the 
proceeds of such taxation should be devoted to roads. Further, as it is so 
generally admitted that provincial motor vehicle taxation is preferable to 
Jocal, no further extension of powers to tax motor vehicles should be made 
to local authorities arid that when and if finances permit, local motor vehicle 
taxation should be entirely abolished and local authorities compensated. 

For the present, we admit that varying rates of local motor vehicle 
taxation may be justified as it is not unreasonable that a car using the 
good roads in large cities should pay more than one running on bad 
roads upcountry. 

19. We note that any form of taxation by petrol excise will not affect 
the motor vehicle propelled by steam or electricity. We therefore propose 
that if the suggestion of cither a Central Fund or additional provincial 
taxation from petrol be adopted, equivalent taxation should be imposed on 
such motor vehicles as do not use petrol. The number of these will not, 
as far as we know, be very great and, for simplicity, we suggest that any 
such countervailing taxation should be provincial and imposed by the prov- 
inces and should be sufficient to give such vehicles no advantage over 
petrol-driven vehicles. 

We have not discussed the exact form such taxation should take, but 
we may in passing suggest that one of the functions of the Central Road 
Board might well be the co-ordination of statistical and other information 
regarding motor vehicle taxation in order to attain, as far as possible, 
uniformity among the provinces, whom it could advise on such questions. 
20. As regards road users other than motor vehicles, it was suggested 
to UvS that bullock carts do considerable damage to roads, and that all such 
vehicles, including horse-drawn vehicles, should pay a small annual tax 
to local authorities, such as District Boards. (In many municipalities they 
already pay a wheel tax.) 

It was pointed out to us, however, that, where tolls exist, bullock carts, 
etc., contribute to road upkeep. But where tolls are not in force, we agree 
an annual tax on such vehicles appears fair possibly with a heavier scale 
for hired carts than for the cultivator, or even with exemption for the 
cultivator or for those who contribute to local cess. Owing to the varied 
systems of land tenure in India, the details of course would have to be 
left to local Governments, and possibly public opinion is not yet ready 
for such a tax. We suggest however that the Committee might recommend 


such taxation, as we found far more opinion in support of it than we 
expected. t 

It was also suggested to us that the narrow iron tyres normally fitted 
to the bullock cart, and the excessive load per square inch thereby imposed 
on the surface of the road, were responsible for much of the damage done, 
ttnd that, therefore, endeavour should be made to enforce a wider width 
of tyre which should do less damage. It was suggested that tax on bullock 
carts should differentiate between carts with tyres of a certain minimum 
width which should escape more lightly than those of the ordinary type. 
The suggestion is commendable, and we are of opinion that it might be 
possible to enforce* it in municipal areas. But we have doubts whether 
in the bulk of the country-side such taxation could be either enforced or 
collected without considerable harassment to the cultivator. 

21. We had various other suggestions made to us as to raising addi- 
tional funds for roads, and of these the following were the most import- 
ant : 

Tolls. The general opinion (with which we strongly agree) is that 
they are undesirable on roads but justifiable on bridges, to go towards the 
cost of construction. We see no objection to a toll on a new bridge which 
replaces a ferry, but we suggest that road tolls are a hindrance to transport 
of every kind and should be abolished as soon as funds allow. 

Another suggestion made to us was that provincial Governments or 
local authorities should be empowered to grant monopoly licences for moior 
transport, both of passengers and goods, on specified routes under strict 
conditions of service, etc. On the Pandu Ghat-Shillon<r road such a 
monopoly has been granted and brings a revenue of about Us. 2 lakhs a 
year. But we received complaints of the high rates charged, and eco- 
nomically such monopolies are generally considered unsound. 

It was however urged that such monopolies would produce efficient 
services, which are impossible under the present cut-throat competition, 
and that the proceeds of such monopolies would afford great assistance to- 
wards road work. We were informed in the Central Provinces that offers 
had been received by District Boards whereby a private company would 
construct a road in return for a 5 years' monopoly. 

We do not like the idea of monopoly, but admit the method may be 
justifiable under certain conditions and needs further exploration. 

22. It was also suggested to us that local authorities responsible for 
upkeep of roads should be empowered to issue licences for the plying of 
public vehicles for hire. Provided the proceeds be spent on roads, this 
appears justifiable, and it is, we believe, the practice in most countries 
that the proceeds of such licences go to the local authorities. In the absence 
of any suitable technical staff with local authorities, it would be necessary 
however for the Police to retain control over the grant of licences and the 
running of vehicles, to prevent danger to the public from unsuitable or 
unsafe motor buses, etc. Provincial Governments should however be able 
to elaborate a scheme to enable local authorities to draw revenue from 
such services with due regard to the public safety. 

23. It was also % suggested to us that District Boards should be allowed 
to levy a terminal* tax on goods imported or exported into the Board's 
jurisdiction by rail or steamer, in order to raise money for roads. This 


appears to us to be a matter of general local taxation and we doubt 
whether such could be justifiably or successfully earmarked for roads. 

This also applies to a suggested surcharge on income tax. 

24. It was also suggested to us that Railway Companies should be com- 
pelled, or at least permitted, to contribute to the cost of building or 
maintaining feeder roads which bring traffic to their stations. Prima facie, 
considering the condition of many feeder roads to railway stations in 
this country, we are of opinion that the suggestion seems reasonable, and 
we recommend that tho Committee might discuss the matter with the 
representatives of the Railway Board in Delhi. 

We have not in our tour considered the question of roads in terri- 
tories administered by the Government of India or what contribution, if 
any, the Army Department ought to make towards the cost of roads which 
are either entirely or partially of strategic value. Such do not appear to 
fall within the purview of the Sub-Committee. 

25. For the purpose of supplementing provincial finances for roads 
(apart from the contribution from a Central Road Fund "as set out in 
Part II of this Report), we suggest 

(a) Provincial motor vehicle taxation in the shape of a further 
2 annas excise on petrol collected centrally and distributed 
on the consumption basis to the provinces. 

(6) Provincial motor vehicle taxation to take the place of local 
motor vehicle taxation and road tolls on motor vehicle, \vhere 
the 2 annas petrol exeise referred to in (a) above may not 
provide sufficient revenue. 

(0) Further local taxation, which we consider might include 

(i) taxation of all vehicles other than motor vehicle; 
(u) tolls on bridges ; 

(Hi) proceeds of licence fees for public service motor 
vehicles ; and 

(iv) in exceptional cases, grant of monopoly transport con- 



26. We have not considered at length what should be the composi- 
tion of the Central Advisory Road Board as that must depend upon the 
work allotted to it. But as considerable interest was shown in what was 
likely to be its composition, we have been unable to avoid making refer- 
ence to the point. But a fairly general suggestion appeared to be that 
it should consist of : 

(i) representatives of the Legislature, 
(ii) representatives of the Departments of the Government of 

India, concerned, including the Army Department, 
(Hi) a representative of the Railway Board, 
(iv) the Consulting Engineer to the Government of India, and 
(v) a whole-time Road Expert with a permanent Secretary pos- 
sessing technical knowledge. 

It was suggested to us by some that the Central Road Board should be a 
step in the direction of an eventual Ministry of Transport with large 
executive powers. We are not in a position to give a definite recommenda- 
tion on this matter but leave the suggestions for the consideration of the 



27. To summarise, we are of opinion, from the information so far 
received, that the development of the Indian road system can be best 
attained by the following methods : 

(i) the formation of an Advisory Central Road Board, and of Road 
or Communications Boards in each province; 

(ii) some uniform classification of roads on some such lines as 
all-India roa,ds, provincial roads, district roads and village 
roads ; 

(Hi) the formation of a Central Road Fund, which shall primarily 
contribute to the improvement of all-India roads, and there- 
by release some provincial funds for other roads; 

(iv) the more important inter-district roads should be provincialised 
and the remainder, e.g., feeder roads, be classed as district 
roads and be left to District Boards and Councils; 

(v) further funds for road development should be raised 

(1) by an additional petrol excise of 2 annas for a Central 

Road Fund ; 

(2) by a further additional petrol excise of 2 annas for 

provincial purposes; 

(3) by provincial motor vehicle taxation involving the 

abolition of local motor vehicle taxation ; and 

(4) by ndditioml local taxation as suggested, 
with the provisos that 

(a) general revenues can be reasonably expected 
to contribute to roads, and any fresh funds 
now raised should be spent in addition to 
the amount already spent on roads, 

(&) the Central Government should at the first 
possible opportunity devote at least part of 
the present four annas petrol excise as 
additional funds for road development ; 

(vi) as the great need of many Indian roads is bridges and re- 
construction on modern lines, bridging and such re-construc- 
tion as can be properly considered capital expenditure, should 
be undertaken from loan funds as early as possible; 
dm) for this purpose, a statutory Road Fund should be initiated to 
provide a source to meet interest and sinking fund charges on 
loans ; 

(vii'i) as the great majority of roads in India are unmetalled, the 
most urgent object for research is into improved methods of 
m kncJiha road making. 

We suggest therefore to the Committee that consideration might be 
taken of these views in examining the problems presented by the terms of 

28. In conclusion, we desire to place on record our appreciation of the 
help we have received from the local Governments in discussing with the 
Sub-Committee matters of considerable intricacy at very short notice. 
We also wish to place on record our appreciation of the time freely given 


and of the trouble taken by various public bodies, non-official associations 
and many private individuals, who appeared before the Sub- Committee and 
gave us the benefit of their many and interesting views on this important 

We are greatly indebted to our Secretary, Mr. II. F. Knight, and to 
Mr. K. G. Mitchell, our Technical Adviser, for their invaluable help to us 
on our tour. Under considerable pressure of work, owing to the short time 
allotted to us in which to tour the provinces, they have displayed the 
greatest keenness in assisting us in every respect. 

^Ve think that this Report indicates the general trend of opinion 
throughout India so far as we were able to ascertain it. 

A. H. FKOOM, Chairman. 

Dated the 23rd December 1927. 



The Sub-Committee arrived at Lahore on the morning of January 9th, 
1928 and stayed there till the night of January 12th. Kumar Ganganand 
Sinha had notified that he would be unable to join the Sub-Committee, and did 
not accompany us to Lahore. On the 9th, the Punjab Government had 
arranged for the Sub-Committee to view various classes of roads in the vicinity 
of Lahore and a tour of over a hundred miles was made by road. In the 
Punjab, roads have been reclassified into " arterial roads ", " main roads " 
and " other roads ". Arterial roads are maintained by Government through 
the agency of the Public Works Department. Main roads are maintained by 
District Boards with grants from Government of varying percentages calculat- 
ed on the circumstances of the individual Boards. Other roads comprise the 
less important district roads and are maintained entirely from District 
Board Funds. The Sub-Committee traversed sections of all these roads and 
also of the canal inspection roads which are not open to heavy traffic. From 
Lahore to Amritsar was an example of 

(a) how motor passenger traffic can compete with a parallel line of rail- 

way. We were informed that the railway passenger traffic 
between Amritsar and Lahore has fallen by about 50 per cent, 
in the last year or so owing to the competition of motor bus 
service ; 

(b) the destructive effect of motor bus traffic on road surface. 

The Sub-Committee also traversed a line of road recently reclassified as 
arterial and now under construction as a metalled road with various experi- 
mental surfaces. This suggested the necessity of further research into road 
construction in India. The fact that motor bus services sprang up as the road 
bed was constructed, and even before it was metalled, is another proof of the 
tremendous demand for passenger transportation in India and of its value to 
the agriculturist. 

2. The Sub-Committee discussed development of roads with the following 
officials and non-officials - 

The Hon'ble Sardar JOGENDRA SINGH, Minister for Agriculture, Govern- 
ment of the Punjab, 
Mr. H. W. EMERSON, C.I.E., C.B.E., I.C.S., Chief Secretary to the 

Government of the Punjab, 
Mr. A. R. ASTBURY, C.I.E., I.S.E., Chief Engineer and Secretary to the 

Government of the Punjab, P. W. Department (Buildings and 

Roads Branch), 
Mr. S. G. STUBBS, O.B.E., I.S.E., Secretary, Communications Board, 


The Hon'ble Rai Bahadur LALA RAMSARAN DAS, C.I.E., representing 

the Punjab Chamber of Commerce, 

Mr. R. E. GRANT GOVAN, representing the Punjab Chamber of Commerce, 
Mr. OWEN ROBERTS, representing the Northern India Automobile 

Association and Northern India Chamber of Commerce, 


Mr. D. J. HORN, representing the Northern India Chamber of Commerce, 
and in these discussions had the assistance of the following members of the 
Boad Development Committee 


(2) The Hon'ble Sardar SHIVDEV SINGH UBEROI, and 

(3) Diwan CHAMAN LAL, M.L.A. 

Mr. W. S. DORMAN, Deputy Chief Engineer, Punjab, was present throughout. 

3. Speaking generally, the Sub-Committee's conclusions as given in their 
Report on their tour in the other provinces of India were confirmed or otherwise 
as below : 

The conclusions summarised in Part II of the Report : 

(i) We found in the Punjab some doubt at first as to the utility of a 
Central Road Board. It was feared that it would obtain 
executive powers and encroach upon provincial autonomy. 
But it was generally agreed that it would be of use in an 
advisory capacity for co-ordination and for research and 
especially as a means of keeping public opinion in touch with the 
necessity for joad development in India. 

{ii) The imposition of an extra two annas excise on petrol to form a 
central fund was objected to in certain quarters on the ground 
that petrol is already very expensive in the Punjab, owing to the 
high cost of freight from the ports and the selling charges of the 
oil companies. And it was urged that though petrol is produced 
in the Attock district of the Punjab, yet its price is kept up to the 
level of that of imported petrol. It was further urged that the 
Punjab motorist pays heavily in the freight demanded to bring 
Lis car up from the port and also in the Punjab provincial taxa- 
tion. We think however that the imposition of a two annas 
petrol excise for a central fund would not excite such great 
opposition as to need the abandonment of the proposal made to 
us and accepted by all the other provinces. 

(Hi) The Punjab Government while prepared bo consider other factors 
for division of the proceeds of such a central fund would urge 
most strongly that the principle of division should be based on 
the willingness of a province to help itself in road development 
by imposing provincial taxation and by spending a reasonable 
proportion of its revenues on roads ; and it was urged particularly 
that one of the factors must be the ratio of road expenditure to 

{iv) That the proceeds should be spent primarily on roads of all-India 
or inter-Provincial importance was not taken exception to. 

(v) That such expenditure must be additional to, and not in place of, 
the normal provincial expenditure on roads was emphasised very 

(vi) The Punjab Government expressed considerable misgivings as to 
the policy of financing road development from loans inasmuch 


as it involves meeting not only the interest and sinking fund 
charges over a period of years, but the maintenance charges as 
well, which might develop into a serious burden unless provided 
beforehand. It was agreed however that bridges might be con- 
structed out of loans. (We consider what work should be con- 
structed out of loans to be a matter which miglit safely be left 
to the provincial Government's own discretion.) 

(mi) Some doubt was expressed as to the possibility of constituting a per- 
manent Road Fund. 

4. Paragraph 25 of the Report : 

(a) There is already fairly heavy provincial motor taxation in force in 

the Punjab and we did not get any clear indication as to whether 
the public would favour the imposition of n provincial two annas 
petrol excise as a substitute for all or part of this. The matter 
was left to be further considered by those whom we met. 

(b) There are apparently only two road tolls in the province apart 

from tolls on boat bridges and ferries. The difficulties felt, for 
example in Madras, as regards local motor vehicle taxation and 
road lolls do not appear to exist here. 

(c) (i) Taxation of vehicles other than motof* cars Opposition was ex- 

pressed to the idea of taxing bullock carts. 
(ii) Tolls on bridges were not objected to. 
(Hi) Pioceeds of licence fees for public service mo tor vehicles AVehad 

110 opportunity of discussing this in detail. 
(iv) Monopoly transport licences Generally speaking, opposition was 

expressed to any attempt to restrict motor services in such manner 

though it was admitted that on one hill road strict control of 

motor vehicles was in force and imperative. 

5. It appeared to us that the most strildng feature of our visit to the Punjab 
was the active interest shown in the province in road development and the bene- 
fits which obviously follow in its train. It was urged upon us by all that 
development of roads was of primary importance to the agriculturist. We 
were told that where he had access to a good road, he was able to take his pro- 
duce to a market town and get proper market rates for his produce, which he 
had formerly to sell at below market rates in his own village to the bania. 

0. Again the convenience of travelling by motor bus as compared with 
travel by rail was stressed and we admit that unpleasant though such com- 
petition might be to the Railway Companies, it is in certain areas forming a 
very useful incentive for the improvement in accommodation for third class 
passengers and, as it was expressed to us, in the civility with which such pas- 
sengers are treated by railway employees. 

7. We understand that in the Lahore district it costs Rs. 3 to cart 
100 c. ft. of road-metal for the first mile of a metalled road and Rs. 4 on an 
unmetalled road, and for the succeeding miles the rates are Rs. 1-8-0 and Rs. 2 
respectively. 100 c. ft. of metal requires about four carts. It might 
therefore be argued that a metalled road probably saves the cultivator two 
annas a mile on every trip his cart makes. If account were taken of the 


enormous mileage covered by cultivators' carts in moving crops to market, the 
financial saving to the country by a developed system of roads might perhaps 
be dimly guessed at. 

8. A further point which struck us in the Punjab was the foresight, with 
which the road programme is being planned and the rapidity with which it is 
being pushed on and it is an example which needs to be followed elsewhere in 
that the programme is mapped for years ahead and the future maintenance 
cost of the roads is kept in view all the time. At present the cost of maintain- 
ing roads in the Punjab is increasing at the rate of Rs. 10 lakhs a year and 
should future conditions so demand, the rate of progress would be adjusted 
according to the money available for maintenance. 

9. In conclusion, we would thank the Punjab Government for our very 
interesting visit to the province and for the information supplied to us. We 
would also thank those gentlemen, official and non-official, who met us and 
discussed with us road development. 

A. H. FROOM, Chairman. 


Dated the 13th January 1928. 



Statistical Statements.* 

* Statements A to K have been compiled from the answers to the questionnaire given 
by local Governments and Administrations. In certain instances the figures have been 
amplified and modified as the result of subsequent correspondence. 







ses and ty 

ng to 




Oi> l OO(Kllr-^-HOOl--' (O 

ws o c<f PH" ccT r-" ai" of irf co" acT T*T 

oo" c^T t-" 


i i'OQOcr^oo 


10 F-T uf c<T 






Notes on Statement A. 

Madras. 3,040 miles of surfaced roads in charge of district boards are 
here classed as " Provincial ". These are trunk roads for which Government 
assumed financial responsibility in 1920-21. At present however the contri- 
bution from provincial revenues is at a flat rate of Us. 500 per mile per year 
for maintenance whereas the average actual cost is Rs. 575 per mile per year. 
Including works of construction, the share of the cost of the^e roads borne by 
provincial revenues was, in 1926-27, 75 per cent. 

Bengal. From the Administration Report of the Public Works Depart- 
ment, Buildings and Roads Branch, for the year 1925-26 the total mileage of 
unmetalled roads is stated to be 34,270. The figures furnished in the reply 
to the questionnaire are less by some 18,250 miles. This difference is under- 
stood to represent roads maintained by union and village boards, complete 
information regarding which is not readily available. 

Burma, The reply to question A-I (vii) of the questionnaire gave the 
length of metalled roads in 1926-27 as 1,890 miles " Provincial", 330 miles 
" Local " or 2,220 miles in all. Subsequently the total figure was corrected to 
3,200 miles but the classification of the revised figure was not stated. As time 
did not allow a further reference to the Government of Burma, the new figure 
has been split up in the same proportion as the old, while the total mileage of 
both types has been left as first stated. 

Bihar and Orissa. Under " Provincial " are included 67 miles surfaced 
and 45 miles unsurfaced maintained by the Public Works Department in 
Feudatory States. 

Assam. The figures given exclude 5 miles surfaced and 370 miles unsur- 
faced of " Central Civil " roads ; and also 10 miles surfaced of " Imperial 
Military " roads. 









CO (N 


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Notes on Statement A-l. 

(a) 93 miles " Central Civil". 97 miles " Military ". 

(6) 924 miles " Central Civil". 143 miles " Military ". 

(c) Includes roads maintained in States from Central Civil funds. 

The figures regarding Government roads in the North- West Frontier 
Province have been compiled from the P. W. D. (Buildings and Roads) 
Administration Report for 1925-26, as the reply to the questionnaire dealt 
with district board roads only. Military and civil roads are included. The 
total figures are 1,098 miles metalled and 1,647 miles unmetalled, but these 
include certain station roads ; excluding the latter the round figures given in 
this statement are a close approximation. 

Figures for Delhi Province have been supplied with respect to < Provincial " 
metalled roads only. 

It will be seen that the information available is incomplete. The figures 
may be taken as being reasonably correct with respect to surfaced roads ; 
they are manifestly incomplete with respect to unsurfaced roads. 











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Notes on Statement D. 

Bombay and Sind. Grants-in-aid of Rs. 14-16 lakhs in Bombay Presidency, 
JRs. 4-84 lakhs in Sind, or Rs. 19-00 lakhs in ail, were paid to local bodies from 
provincial revenues, but information is not available as to the distribution of 
the expenditure of these grants between construction and maintenance. The 
amounts have been adjusted in this statement by inclusion under " Provincial " 
and deduction from " Local " in the proportion of the other expenditure dis- 
tributed between these heads by the Bombay Government. 

United Provinces. The figure of expenditure on construction from pro- 
vincial revenues includes Rs. 3 4 lakhs interest charges. 

Bihar and Orissa. The expenditure from local funds given in the reply 
to the questionnaire has since been ascertained to include Rs 6 03 lakhs grants- 
in-aid from provincial revenues. This sum has now been included under 
" Provincial " and excluded from " Local , the adjustment between construc- 
tion and maintenance having been made proportionately lo the figures first 



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Notes on Statement D-l. 

(a) " Central Civil". 

(6) Us. 2,76,000 "Military". Rs. 3,37,000 "Central Civil", 

(c) Figures for construction and maintenance not separated in reply to 

questionnaire. Expenditure all presumed to be on maintenance. 

(d) " Central Civil". 

(e) Civil expenditure only. Military expenditure not stated. 

Delhi. See note on Statement A-l. No figures have been supplied of 
expenditure on (d) provincial unmetalled roads and (b) district 
board roads. 










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Inspection by Government in case of first class or trunk 
and second class or district roads. 
* A few provincial roads in two districts are maintaine 
district boards at the cost of provincial revenues. 

Some provincial roads are maintained by district boai 
a charge on provincial revenues. Figures not state 
Xo supervision. 

Supervision of aided works and Class II road mainten 
Special staff. 
A.-1. (v) of reply to questionnaire. Grants are made 
provincial revenues for district board roads, but fi 
not stated. 
Supervision by Supenntending Engineers. Not shown in 
ment of expenditure in 1926-27 in reply to question 
Super vicion by Supenntending Engineers. 

There are no district boards in Assam. Sjme prov 
roads are maintained by local boards with annual 
grants given by Government. In addition to 
grants, non-recurrmg grants are also given by Goverr 
to the, local boards for improvement of their roads. 








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Production, consumption and retail price of petrol in India. 


in India. 

from India. 

in India. 

Price per gallon* 
including excise 
(at Calcutta). 

Bs. A, P. 

Gallons (thousands). 









1 1 ,045 

1 12 6|- 





1 8 (j 




J 8,486 

1 14 





1 14 





1 11 





f" 1 11 to An 'just 1924. 
41 8 to Deer. 1924. 

L 1 8 6 to March 1925. 

1925-2 <> 




1 6 6| 


40,77 ) 



f 1 6 6 to July 1926. 
156 toNovr. 1926. 

^ 1 4 6 to March 1927. 





/ 1 2 6 to April 1927. 
\ 1 1 6 

* Bulk price is one anna per gallon less. 

t Includes excise duty of annas six per gallon imposed from 16th February 1917- 

J Excise duty reduced to annas four per gallon from 1st April 1925. 







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3 [3 CO *O CO CO QO O ^ 1^* t* 

* The higher rates apply to parts and accessories of motor cars and motor cycles. 
JThe higher rates apply to pneumatic tyres and tubes. 
Includes 6 annas excise duty. 
NoU. The import duties on lubricating oils in the above years were : In 1913-14, 5 percent ad valorem. From 1919-20 to 1925-26, 7 J per cent 
advalortm. From 1926-27, la. 4p. per imperial gallon. 

Motor spirit. 


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buses, vans 
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Motor cycles. 


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Motor cars 
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Progress made in India with improved forms of road surfaces.* 

Opportunity has been taken to ascertain what has been done in recent 
years in different parts of India with improved forms of road surface. An 
enquiry addressed to all provinces has produced the following information. 


With increased traffic and the introduction of motor bus and lorry 
services, improved forms of road surfacing became a necessity, as the ordinary 
water-bound macadam roads get disintegrated very soon and require constant 
repairs and frequent renewals. The improved forms adopted in the Madras 
Presidency are : 

(1) Spraying or surface painting on water-bound macadam road 

with tar or bitumen. 

(2) Tar or asphalt macadam. 

(3) Tar or asphalt grouting. 

Tar spraying. Of the above, item (1), tar spraying is the one generally 
adopted as it is easily done. The specifications laid down for surface tarring 
and tar macadam ore the specifications Nos. 1 and 2 of the "Roads Depart- 
ment, Ministry of Transport. England. The minimum thickness of metal 
coat on which surface tarring is done, is 3". After the consolidation of metal 
the road is usuallv allowed to settle under traffic for a month or so. The 
surface is then brushed well and tar is applied with a spraying machine. 
After the initial coat a second coat is applied in 12 months. Subsequent 
tarring is done in patches when and where there is need, and for purposes of 
estimate it may be taken to be required once in two years where the traffic 
is heavy. The cost of surface tarring on a new 3" metal (granite) coat at 
Madras is Rs. 8,320 per nUe of 18 feet roadway as detailed below : 


3" granite coat at Rs. 6 per ] 00 sq. ft. . . 5,702 

Tarring at Rs. 2-12-0 per 100 sq. ft. . . 2,614 

8,316 or 8,320 

The cost of maintenance per mile per annum 

a^; Rs. 2-12-2 or Rs. 1-6-0 per 100 sq. ft. 1,307 or 1,300 


Surface painting with bitumen. Like tar spraying, bituminous surfacing 
is done on a new metal coat after it has been opened for traffic for some time 
to allow for any local settling. Bituminous surfacing has come to be adopted 
only recently and the substance used is spramex. The cost of this form of 
surface will be about the same as that of tar spraying. 

* Compiled by Mr. K. G. Mitchell, Technical Adviser, from notes furnished by 
various road authorities. 

t Note by the Chief Engineer, Public Works Department, Madras H 


Asphalt (/routed macadam. Where the traffic is exceptionally heavy 
asphalt grouted macadam (penetration system) is adopted. This consists 
of : 

(a) Bottom layer (3" or 4" thick) of stones 2" to 2J" gauge dry rolled, 

upon which hot asphalt is uniformly applied at the rate of 

1 5 to 1 75 gallons per square yard. 
(6) Intermediate layer of stones I" to I" gauge dry rolled, over which 

a seal coat of asphalt is applied at the rate of 0' 5 to 0*75 

gallon per yard. 

(c) Fine chippings spread and broomed on the surface and well rolled. 

(d) In addition to the above a thin layer of sand spread over the 

clippings after they have been rolled in gives better results. 
This thin layer of sand is also rolled and any surplus removed 
after two weeks of traffic. 

It is anticipated that under heavy traffic conditions this form of road 
surface will be economical in the long run. With the renewal of the 
seal coat say once in 3 years, the life of the asphalt grouted macadam is 
roughly estimated at 12 years. 



The Chief Engineer states that the asphalt work done on the Bandra-Ghod- 
bauder road, described below, has been very successful. lie also states that 
a good deal of surface treatment lias been done and is being done in Poona 
and elsewhere, and that experiments are being started with ' Colas ', ' Mexaco' 
and ' Colfix ' but that no results can yet be deduced from these experiments. 
He also draws attention to the economies effected by the Bombay Munici- 
pality by th" use of improved road surfaces. 

Bamlia-Uhodbander Road. Sec 'ion trom Bandra to Andheri. 

Previous history. The Development Department was in charge of the 
road from 1920 to 1925. To meet the growing needs of traffic, the road was 
widened from 16' to 30' from Andheri to Santa Cruz and from 16' to 40' 
from Santa Cruz to Bandra. The surface was improved in 1921-22 by pro- 
viding 8" of rubble soling and G" of water-bound macadam. To remove the 
dust nuisance, tar carpeting was provided for the whole length of the road 
in 1923-24. 

The heavy motor lorry traffic soon broke up the carpeted surface and when 
the Public Works Department resumed charge of the road in April 1925, 
the road surface was in a deplorable state and motoring on the road was very 
difficult and annoying, if not positively dangerous. Serious complaints 
were received from the public and the problem of repairing the surface was 
a very pressing one. 

* Letter, dated July 4th, 1928, from Mr. D. R. H. Browne, Chief Engineer, Public 
Works Department, Buildings and Roads Branch, Government of Bombay. 


It was first proposed to lay a small length of asphalt macadam in the 
worst portion. A length of 1,400 ft. was laid in the cold weather following 
the monsoon of 1925 and was found very satisfactory. The condition of the 
remaining section, however, had further deteriorated and remedial measures 
were urgently required. Mr. K. S. Framji, the late Chief Engineer, Roads 
and Buildings, was therefore requested to visit the road which he did in 
January 1926, and funds for asphalting about 2 miles of the road were pro- 
mised. The work was vigorously pushed on and by May 1926 about 11 
furlongs were completed. In the meanwhile, it became apparent that it was 
not possible to neglect the remaining section of the road and an estimate for 
repairing it was submitted to Government. Funds were duly received and 
the whole road was completed in April 1927. 

The cost of treating the whole length of 5| miles from Mahim causeway 
to Andhcri is Rs. 3,45,000. 

Petroleum asphalt from the Standard Oil Company has been used through- 
out the road, with the exception of 2 furlongs 1/1 and 0/8. In the former, 
Mexphalte and Spramex of the Asiatic Company and in the latter natural 
Trinidad asphalt with suitable flux oil have been used. The working rate 
with " Socony-" and Mexphalte was Rs. 3-1-6 per square yard and that with 
Trinidad asphalt was Rs. 3-10-6 per square yard. 

The surface treated with petroleum asphalt, " Socony " or Mexphalte 
shewed uniformly good results. The Trinidad asphalt surface, which was 
laid in February 1927, had to be partly seal-coated soon after the rains. 

Central Circle, Bombay Presidency. 
Note by the Superintending Engineer, Central Circle, giving a short account 

of the condition of roads and the progress made to date with improved 

forms of road suifaces in his Circle. 

Most of the roads in this Circle are of long standing and were constructed 
to meet the traffic conditions which existed in the last century. As fast motor 
traffic increases and loads become heavier, they are found to be unsuitable 
for traffic under modern conditions and the result is that the roads deteriorate 
rapidly, and as the funds provided for their maintenance are insufficient to 
deal with the extra and more frequent repairs required, their condition is 
rapidly going from bad to worse. The sub grade for these roads is murum 6" 
to 9" thick with a coat of metal 3" to 6" thick. The metal is water-bound, 
the rolling being usually done with an 8 to 10 ton steam roller ; though in 
many lengths the rolling has, owing to inadequate funds, still to be done with 
the old-fashioned bullock roller. In lengths that have been made or recon- 
structed recently the sub grade is a 9" to 12" layer of hand-packed rubble 
soling. The surface is a 6" coat of water-bound macadam. Here too, though 
the sub grade does not give trouble, the surface does, being found unsuitable 
to withstand modern fast moving traffic. 

Need for a surface that will stand modern traffic conditions has been 
recognized for some time past. Comparatively little has, however, been done 
so far in this direction owing to the financial situation. Nearly three miles 
of road in and around Poona have been treated with asphalt, while the work 
of asphalting the road from Ahmednagar to Ahmednagar station and that 
from Nasik to Nasik Road station is in progress and proposals to asphalt 



roads in and around Poona and several important portions of roads in other 
Divisions in this Circle are under serious consideration of Government. 

The asphalting done up to date in the Poona Division has been by 
what can be termed ' l\" penetration method '. Briefly it is as follows : 

Wet rolling over metal is done in the ordinary way and when the metal is 
firm and dry, a layer of sand is brushed over the same to fill the interstices 
between the metal thereby reducing the penetration and quantity of asphalt 
required. Over this asphalt is poured (9 gallons per 100 sq. ft. approxi- 
mately or 9/1 1th s of a gallon per square yard). Sand is then spread over 
it and the surface again rolled. The overall cost of this per 100 sq. ft. 
comes to Rs. 17 nearly. This method appears to be the cheapest satis- 
factory process of asphalt treatment in view of the present, financial 
stringency. For portions of roads requiring preferential treatment 
what is termed ' 3" penetration method ' is proposed to be adopted. 
For this method, metal is rolled dry to admit of greater penetration and 
the quantity of asphalt used including that required for the seal coat is 2 
gallons per square yard approximately. The overall cost of this method 
works out for Poona Division to Es. 28-8-0 per 100 sq. ft. nearly. 


The type** ot surfaces laid by the Improvement Trust and the areas of each 
type constructed with the cost thereof are tabulated below : 

Type of surface. 

sq. yds. 


Average rate. 




Rs. A. 


3* sheet asphalt pave- 



7 sq. yd. 

Provided for first 


class roads subject 

to heavy pneuma- 

tic and iron- wheeled 



2" to 3" asphaltic con- 



5 12 sq. yd. 

Provided for second 


class roads subject 

to heavy traffic. 


3* asphalt penetration 



3 8 sq. yd. 


with a seal coat. 


1* Mexphalte pavement 



2 8 sq. yd. 

Provided for roads 


with medium traffic. 


Spramex surfacing 



1 sq. yd. 

Provided for roads 


carrying light traffic 

and passages. 

* Note by Mr. T. K. S. Kynnersley, M. Inst. C.E., Chief Engineer. 


The Improvement Trust has not laid any portion with a concrete surface 
though concrete is adopted for the foundation. 

Foundations. The sub grade is carefully prepared and rolled with a 
roller of not less than 8 tons finishing with a 15 ton road roller, giving the 
surface a smooth, compact and uniform appearance. 

For all important roads constructed during tlu last 5 years and treated 
with asphalt the foundations consist of a 6" thick layer of 1:8:6 cement 
concrete with diamond shaped marks in the surface for proper bond with the 
pavement above, and reinforced when the sub grade is poor. In case of some 
of the old roads which were already completed as macadam roads with 10" 
compact rubble packing and 6" consolidated metalling, the asphalt surface 
has been laid directly on the old surface. 

Cost of road foundations. 

Us. A. P. 

(a) Cost of 6" thick cement concrete founda- 
tion . , . . . . 4 sq. yd. 

(6) Do. with reinforcement 4 8 sq. yd. 

(c) Cost of macadam road foundation (10" 

rubble packing and 6" metalling) . . 4 6 sq. yd. 

The aggregate for cement concrete is a mixture of 1" and 2J" blue 
stone metal in equal proportions. The concrete is usually machine mixed 
and laid on the alternate bay system. 

Surface treatments. These can be divided broadly into two groups, the 
first three being for heavy traffic roads and the last two for light traffic roads. 
And selection is made in each group according to the nature and amount of 
traffic ; when the question of funds is the guiding factor preference would have 
to be given to the cheaper methods according to the money available. 

Specification and brief description of construction. 

The constituents of an asphaltic surface are stone chips, sand, filler and 
asphalt cement. 

The chips are from blue stone from the Trust quarries having a granu- 
lar structure, the largest size being 3/4". 

The sand is Juhu white sand suitably graded with stone dust to give 
the following ideal grading : 

For heavy traffic. For light traffic. 

Passing 80 to 100 . . . . 30 to 35 % . . 20 to 25 % 

40 to 50 .. .. 40 to 45% .. 40 to 45 % 

10 to 20 .. .. 20 to 25% .. 30 to 35% 

Filler is required for making the pavement dense, and Portland cement 
is used for the purpose. 

Asphaltic cement is natural asphalt brought to the required consistency 
by mixing when heated with the necessary quantity of flux oil. The amount 


of pure bitumen in the Trinidad asphalt cement of the consistency used by the 
Trust is about 61 per cent. 

Mixing and laying of the asphalt surfaces. 

The materials for asphalt pavement have to be mixed in a regular asphalt 
plant, which has the following important parts: (1) An engine for working 
the mixing plant consisting of a drying and heating drum with elevators and 
a mixing mill, (2) steam heating kettles and (3) boiler for providing steam for 
working the engine and for heating the kettles. 

For fuel for the boiler, oil has been found to be excellent as the chances 
of over-heating of the materials with the consequent deterioration of the mixture 
are minimised and a constant pressure can be maintained with little manipula- 
tion and attendance. 

Laying on road. The pavements are to be laid in a uniform layer of the 
required thickness after cleaning the surface of all dust. The rolling has to be 
very carefully done with power-driven tandem rollers. A thoroughly trained 
staff is necessary for this work. In case of sheet asphalt, the binder course 
has to be followed with the surface course the same day to obtain complete 
adhesion and to avoid dirt, etc., being swept or blown on. 

3" sheet asphalt pavement. This is laid in two courses, the lower one 
being called the binder course and the upper one being called the wearing 
surface. The upper course which has to withstand the wear and tear of the 
traffic and the action of sun and rain is made dense and rich in bitumen, while 
the lower layer which acts as a stiffener is made of comparatively large sized 
materials and is not so dense and rich in bitumen. 

2\" asphaltic concrete is laid in one course and is a modification of the two- 
course method based on utility and cost. It is midway between the two 
courses in consistency. 

1" Mexphalte pavement is essentially an asphalt pavement, the on]y 
difference being that the bitumen employed is Mexphalte or Asphaltum 
which is cheaper than asphalt and contains 99% bitumen. 

The details of the mixture which has given satisfactory results and is 
being used in every case at present arc tabulated below : 

Materials per box of 600 Ibs. 






of A. C. 

Per cent 





Wearing surface course 






Binder course 







Asphaltic concrete 







1* Mexphalte 




20 to 30 
40 to 50 



Mexphalte is generally laid on old macadam roads. Prior to laying Mexphalte 
the road is thoroughly swept and cleaned of all the dust and any irregularities 
made good by new metal well rolled. Just before laying the mixture on the 
surface it is painted uniformly with Spramex which is heated over-night and 
kept ready. The Mexphalte layer is then placed and well rolled as in the case 
of sheet asphalt pavement. 

y asphalt penetration with a seal coat. This surfacing is generally pro- 
vided on macadam roads but can also be provided for road with concrete 
foundation. The macadam roads are completed with the first layer of 4" 
consolidated metalling on the 10" rubble foundation and are opened to traffic 
and allowed to consolidate for at least a year. The surface layer 3" thick 
with asphalt penetration and a seal coat are then laid as below : 

All the irregularities in the old road surface are made good and the whole 
surface cleaned of all loose and foreign matter. Over this a 4" loose layer 
of 2" metal is laid uniformly and dry rolled with a roller not less than 10 
tons, so that the metal is well interlocked but not broken. All irregularities 
appearing during rolling are remedied simultaneously, and care is taken so 
that this layer is entirely free of dirt and dust. On this rolled aggregate as- 
phalt cement of the required consistency or Mexphalte of the necessary grade 
which is heated to a temperature of 320 to 330 is applied uniformly at the 
rate of 1^ to If- gallons per square yard by means of hand pouring pots with 
broad nozzle. The heated asphalt in the kettles has to be continuously stirred 
to avoid separation of the mineral matter in it, with consequent deterioration. 
The grouted surface when still hot is then covered up with a uniform layer of 
f " chips and the surface well rolled till the pavement is thoroughly compact and 
interlocked. The surface is then swept clean of all loose material and then the 
second or the seal coat of the bitumen at the rate of to 2 gallon is applied 
and the surface immediately covered with a uniform layer of grit and well 
rolled, aftoi which the road can be opened to traffic. During the construction 
of this final layer, the road should be kept free of traffic as far as possible. 

Spramex surfacing. Spft,mex surfacing is similar in construction to the 
penetration method except that the bitumen is spramex, which instead of pene- 
trating to 3" to 4" as in the latter case is applied just sufficient to coat the 
surface. The road has to be fulty consolidated before spramexing is done. 
All the irregularities in the road surface are first made good and the surface 
cleaned of all dust. The first coat of Spramex is then applied at the rate 
of J to I gallon per square yard and J" to |" chips are spread over it uni- 
formly and the surface rolled with a 10 ton roller till the chips are crushed and 
well interlocked in the interstices of the road bed. The excess material is 
then removed by means of brushes and a second coat of Spramex at the rate 
of 1 gallon per 6 square yards is sprayed uniformly and a layer of stone dust 
and sand is laid and properly rolled in. 


Most of the Bombay Port Trust roads are made of water-bound macadam? 
a form of construction unsuitable for modern traffic and possessing the addi- 
tional disadvantages of being dusty and requiring continual watering in the 
dry weather. 

* Note by the Chief Engineer. 


Experiments are being made with bituminous surfaces in an endeavour 
to find a reasonably economical road surface which will stand up to the ex- 
tremely heavy wear to which all roads in the vicinity of docks are subj ected 
but the experiments have not so far covered a long enough period to enable 
any definite conclusions to be reached. 

The first departure from the practice of the use of either water-bound 
macadam or setts was in the construction of Manson Road. 

As an experiment a portion of this road, about 400 feet long by 45 feet 
wide, was laid with reinforced concrete in 1923. The concrete foundation 
was made 6" to 7" thick and of 4 : 2 : 1 mix, the wearing surface was 2" thick 
and of 1 J : 1 : 1 mix. The aggregate for the foundation was blue stone trap 
and gravel and that for the surface crushed granite. ' Ironite ' was incor- 
porated in a portion of the granolithic surface. The reinforcement was at 
the bottom of the slab and consisted of -}" diameter rods spaced at 6" centres 
transversely and at 12" centres longitudinally. 

Work was started in January 1923 and the road was opened for traffic 
on April 13th, 1923. A census taken shortly after opening showed between 
7 A.M. and 6 P.M. in one day 4,918 loaded bullock carts, 703 unloaded bullock 
carts, 11 loaded lorries and 13 unloaded lorries. The road has been in use now 
for nearly 5 years and the surface is in very fair condition. The weakest point 
is at the joints between the slabs. Wear at the joints was noticed not long 
after the opening of the road but it has not developed as seriously as was then 
feared would be the case. The expenditure on repairs has been negligible 
and watering has been dispensed with. After completion the surface 
was covered with tar and chips, but this soon wore off. A further small 
length of concrete road was subsequently constructed and opened for traffic 
on 12th March 1925. The specification was as for Manson Road with 
the following exceptions : the foundation was 8" thick, blue trap sett 
stones curved on top and projecting slightly above the road were put 
in at the joints a-nd the surface was treated with silicate of soda instead 
of with tar and chips. The transverse rows of blue stone setts can be 
distinguished. Some of these setts have become worn down or broken and 
may have to be replaced in the near future ; the surface of the road is in excel- 
lent condition and nothing has been spent on repairs or watering. Owing to 
this road being very narrow the traffic on it is heavy and it was found im- 
possible to keep it properly repaired as a water-bound macadam road. 

The cost of this road worked out at Rs. 160 per 100 square feet of which 
Rs. 10-5-0 we -e for excavating and preparing the foundations. Owing to the 
difficulty of obtaining granite in Bombay some quays have been concreted 
with a surface containing an aggregate of blue stone trap. This appears to b e 
wearing well and if used on concrete roads instead of granite would materially 
reduce the cost. 

From the experience gained hitherto it appears that concrete roads stand 
the traffic very well if carefully constructed. 

The commonest vehicle on the Port Trust roads is the bullock cart. The 
weight of a cart and driver (without Ibullocks) is about 10 cwts. The carts 


are supposed to carry 16 cwts. but are often loaded to 20 cwts. The width 
of the steel tyre on each of the two wheels is 2J" to 2|". The wheels are secured 
to the axles by cotter pins and owing to the large amount of play there is con- 
siderable grinding action on the road. The use of large lorries is increasing 
and these are often loaded well over their designed carrying capacity. 

Note on the ipethod of improving an old water-bound macadam road/" 

The road referred to runs across the Mazagon Sewree Reclamation, it is 
about 2,400 feet long by 20 feet wide and it lies for most of its length in a 
depression, the land reclaimed on either side of it having been finished at a 
higher level than the road. 

The road was built on the top of one of the bunds, which were construct- 
ed of murum to retain the clay and mud pumped in by the dredgers employed 
in the Mazagon Sewree Reclamation Scheme between 1907 and 1914. 

One of the main storm water drains was also built on this bund, so it 
is now directly under the road. The road was constructed with the usual 
9" of soling and about 6" of metal, but the surface of the road was not drained 
and consequently in the monsoon it was often partially submerged, and motor 
lorries and carts floundered along digging out pot-holes wherever the sub-soil 
or the surface became softened by the water. The road eventually became 
badly corrugated and pot-holed. 

The traffic on the road has for some time been increasing and is now 
fairly heavy, probably about 25 lorries laden with 4 or 5 tons of iron, 50 laden 
bullock carts and 100 motor cars make double journeys over it daily. 

Photo No. It shows the condition of the road before it was repaired, 
and photo No. 2f shows it partly repaired. The depressions were tested by 
straight edges everything over 3" below the general surface level was con- 
sidered to be a pot-hole these were dug out to a diamond shape thoroughly 
cleaned and painted with tar, and filled in with tar macadam (ll" metal). 

After the bad pot-holes had been repaired the corrugated surface of the 
road was attended to. This was bmshed thoroughly clean and painted with 
tar, i.e.. sprayed by hand by means of watering cans of 2 gallons capacity. 
Tarred chipping f " gauge were then spread and raked on to the road. The 
average thickness of clippings was 1J"; J" stone grit was spread on top of 
these chippings which were then rolled with a 1 ton hand roller. The surface 
was constantly tested with straight edges to ensure that it was uniform in 
plane. The carriage-way has been finished with a seal coat of bitumen. 
Various proprietory emulsified bitumens were used on tesl lengths, but 
the greater part is coated with Spramex applied hot. 

*Note by Mr. P. G. Carron, M.Inst.C.E., Executive Engineer, Construction. 
tNot printed. 

Drainage. The surface drainage of the road has been assured by digging 
trenches parallel to the road on both sides of it as sketched ; 

*^^*\ k***** 

These trenches are graded with a fall of 1 in 180 and discharge into gullies, 
which are connected to the main storm water drain under the road. Water is 
drained off the road through cuts in the berm, these cuts being made about 
50' apart. 

Cost. The actual cost of draining and repairing the load was Rs. 11-8-0 
per 100 sq. ft. which includes the cost of forming the ditches and building 
gullies and connecting them to the main drain. 

Tar to Road Board Specification No. 2 was used for the tar-macadam 

The chips were mixed with tar in a concrete mixer at a depot about J 
a mile from the site and carted to the site as required. 


Note on the progress made with improved forms of road su' faces in the city 

of "Bombay. 

Before 1921-22 the only methods of resurfacing carried out were : 

(1) Water-bound macadam. 

(2) Tar grouting. 

(3) Surface dressing with 2 paint coats of tar. 

These have now been replaced according to traffic requirements by the 
following : 

(1) fi" sett pavement on 9" cement concrete foundation. 

(2) 3" sheet asphalt on 6" cement concrete and on existing consolidated 

water-bound or tarred road. 

(3) "2" asphaltic concrete on existing well consolidated water-bound 

or tarred road. 

(4) 24" mixed macadam with " mixed seal coat on 6" cement concrete 

and on existing well consolidated water-bound or tarred road. 

(5) 3" asphalt macadam (penetration method) on 6" cement concrete 

and on existing well consolidated water-bound or tarred road. 

(6) 6" cement concrete roads. 

(7) Surface dressing with two paint coats of asphalt, chips and grit. 

(8) Surface dressing with two paint coats of emulsified bitumen, chips 

and grit. 


The present cost per square yard and the approximate mileage of the 
different types both before and after 1921-22 are as follows : 



Before 1921-22. 

After 1921-22. 



Cost per 


Cost per 


Es. a. p. 

Water-bo Jnd 



144 120 

Tarred roads 



Asphalt macadam 



Asphalt surface dressing 



*Of these about 5 
miles represented 
V'thicksand car- 

Mixed macadam 



Asphaltic concrete 



Cement concrete 



Sheet asphalt 



Sett pavement 





The above figures are for wearing surfaces only. The Municipality has 
laid three roads with concrete wearing surf aces which are now being covered by 
an asphaltic carpet. 

For roads having mainly bullock cart traffic, s>tt pavement has answered 
well and where there is mixed traffic we generally provide 6 ft. to 8 ft. margins 
of sett pavement for carts and the remainder of the width is laid with an 
asphalt carpet for automobiles. Sheet asphalt has proved very satisfactory 
under all traffic conditions and asphaltic concrete and mixed macadam for 
medium traffic. 

These methods, however, require a special plant and specially trained 
staff and are hence suitable for large cities only, which have adopted a conti- 
nuous programme from year to year. For country roads penetration macadam 
should be sufficient, as materials locally available can be conveniently used 
with the help of a small boiler and a few pouring cans. 

In this connection the manufacture of cold products, viz., asphalt emulsions 
has a great promise of simplifying the process of laying, as the stuff can be used 
straight from the barrel without any heating. 


A good surface drainage system and a stable foundation are the essential 
points of a good road, and no surfacing however costly will be successful unless 
Attention is paid to this. 

The initial cost of these methods is considerably more than that of a water- 
bound road surface, but the advantages derived are : 

(1) Low annual maintenance. 

(2) Longevity of the pavement. 

(3) Ease of tractive effort. 

(4) Elimination of the dust nuisance. 

(5) Saving in collection of refuse and watering. 

(6) Elimination of nuisance arising from frequent road repairs, etc. 

(7) Sanitary. 

(8) Surface easily scavenged and cleansed. 

(9) Great saving in tyres to motorists. 

In the case of roads requiring new foundations the entire cost can be 
properly met from borrowings, so that only interest, depreciation and main- 
tenance can be charged to revenue, thus lowering appreciably the burden 
of the tax-payers. 

Specifications for the various methods are detailed below. 
I. General directions for surfacing with macadam. 

1. The thickness of the surface coating of tar macadam when consolidat- 
ed by rolling should be from 2 to 3 inches according to traffic requirements. 
For a greater thickness than 3 inches the material should be applied in two 

2. The finished surface should have a cross fall of about 1 in 32. 

3. The aggregate of the new surface of tar macadam should be composed 
of broken stone of approved quality, or selected slag of approved quality, and 
should contain at least (30 per cent broken to the size of 2J inches, not more 
than 30 per cent of from 2J inches to 1 inches, and 10 per cent of f inch to \ 
inch for closing. The last mentioned size should be kept separate and used as 
top dressing during rolling operations. 

4. The stone used must be thoroughly dried before being coated with 

5. The quantity of tar used to coat one ton of stone should be approxi- 
mately from 9 to 12 gallons, varying according to the sizes of the stone, the 
grade of tar used, the method of mixing and other conditions. 

6. The tar macadam, after having been spread and levelled, should be 
rolled into a smooth surface, but too much rolling should be avoided. 

Less rolling is required than in the case of water-bound macadam. 

A 10 ton roller is a suitable size for use in most cases, but good results 
can be obtained by using a 6 ton roller and finishing with a 10 ton roller. 


7. Stone chippings, crushed gravel, coarse sand or other approved mate- 
rial (free from dust) not larger than will pass through a J inch square mesh, 
should be used for gritting in quantity not exceeding L ton for 300 to 350 
superficial yards if grit is used, and 1 ton for 200 to 250 superficial yards if 
coarse sand is used. 

II. Construction specification. 

3" asphalt macadam surface. Finished thickness 3" or us required. 
Spreading and compacting coarse aggregate. 

(1) Prior to spreading coarse aggregate the prepared base shall be cleaned 
of all loose and foreign matter. The coarse aggregate which consists of 2" 
metal shall then be spread upon the base in a uniformly loose layer 4" thick. 
Each load shall be spread outside of the area upon which it is dumped. Every 
precaution shall be taken to prevent the aggregate from becoming mixed or 
coated with dirt or other objectionable matter before and after spreading. 

(2) The coarse aggregate shall then be dry rolled with a steam road rolle r 
weighing not loss than 10 ions. The rolling shall start longitudinally at the 
sides and gutter and proceed towards the centre of the pavement, overlapping 
on successive trips by at least one-half of the width of the roller. The com- 
pacted coarse aggregate shall possess a fairly firm and even surface true to the 
grades and cross sections shown on the plans and present a texture which will 
allow of uniform penetration of the asphalt. If any irregularities appear during or 
after rolling they shall be remedied by loosening the surface and removing or 
adding coarse aggregate as may be required, after which the area disturbed in- 
cluding the surrounding surface shall be rolled until satisfactorily compacted 
to a uniform surface. All coarse aggregate which becomes coated or mixed 
with dirt, dust or foreign substances prior to the application of asphalt shall be 
removed and replaced with clean aggregate of the same kind and compacted 
as specified. 

Fiist application of asphalt. 

(1) Upon the rolled coarse aggregate, hot asphalt shall be uniformly applied 
at the rate of from one and a half (1-5) to one and three quarters (1-75) gallons 
per square yard as directed by the Engineer. 

Asphalt shall be applied only when the coarse is thoroughly dry for its 
entire depth, and unless otherwise permitted by the Engineer. 

Application of the asphalt shall be made by means of a pressure distributor 
or with hand pouring pots. 

(2) The asphalt shall be heated in kettles to secure uniform heating of the 
entire contents and shall be brought to a temperature of 300 to 350 P. 
as directed by the Engineer. A thermometer must be provided to determine 
the temperature of the asphalt during heating and prior to application,. 

Hand pouring pots used for applying asphalt shall have a capacity of not 
less than 3 gallons and shall be equipped with slotted spouts so placed that when 
the can is emptied by carrying it forward with the end of the spout close to the 
road surface the width of application shall be not less than 8 inches. Each pot 


shall be marked to gauge for accurately measuring the charge of asphalt before 
it is distributed. The distance to be covered by each charge shall be measured 
off and the pouring operation conducted so that the rate of application will 
be uniform as the pot is emptied. The direction of successive pourings shall be 
reversed. Application shall be made at such angle to the centre line of the road 
or longitudinally as directed by the Engineer. During pouring the spout of 
the pot shall be kept within 6 inches of the surface of the road. In distributing 
slots shall bo kept free from obstructions and shall be cleaned as necessary to 
insure a uniform distributing aperture. A narrow spout pouring pot may be 
used to apply asphalt necessary to touch up all spots unavoidably missed during 
the original application. 

Filling surface voids with intermediate aggregate. 

After the first application of asphalt, and if practicable while still warm, a 
thin layer of dry intermediate aggregate consisting of f" to 1" metal shall be 
broadcasted over the treated surface in such quantity as to fill the surface voids 
and just cover the treatment. It shall then be broomed if necessary, to break 
up all clumps and produce a uniform covering, after which the pavement shall 
be steam rolled until thoroughly compacted and interlocked. 

Suitable precautions shall be taken to prevent the distribution of inter- 
mediate aggregate over any portion of the coarse aggregate which has not 
received the first application of asphalt and in no case shall it be dumped directly 
upon either the treated or untreated coarse aggregate. 

Seal coat. 

After the intermediate aggregate has been thoroughly rolled stiff the pave- 
ment shall be swept clean of all loose material and treated with a second appli- 
cation of heated asphnlt under the same conditions and in the same manner as 
previously specified, except that the rate of application shall be from one half 
(0-5) to three quarters (0-75) gallon per square yard as directed by the Engineer. 

If hand pouring pots are used, the lines of distribution shall cross those of 
the first applications at an angle of approximately 90 degrees. After the second 
application of asphalt and if practicable while it is still warm, dry fine aggregate 
consisting of \" grit shall be broadcasted over the surface and rolled until 
thoroughly bonded to the road. As required additional fine aggregate shall be 
spread and broomed over the surface 1 during rolling in sufficient quantity to 
take up all excess of asphalt. 

Upon completion of the pavement, however, only a very light uniform cov- 
ering of loose aggregate shall be allowed to remain on the road. The finished 
surface shall be uniform, free from ruts or irregularities in contour and true to 
the required grade. 

Protection of pavement. 

During the period between the initial compaction of the coarse aggregate 
and completion of the seal coat the surface course shall be protected from all 
traffic other than that absolutely essential to its construction. 


III* Specification for mixed macadam with a mixed seal coat. 

The mineral aggregate shall consist of trap rock, other sound 
stone, or slag, satisfactory to the Engineer consisting of pieces as nearly cubical 
as possible, not larger than 1 J" in their largest diameter and not smaller than 
%" and from 10% to 15% of clean, sharp sand by weight as determined by the 

The mineral aggregate shall be mixed in the same manner as specified for 
sheet asphalt and asphaltic concrete and the proportion of asphaltic cement 
shall be such that the mixture shall not show excess or deficiency of bitumen. 

The mixture shall be hauled to the road and laid and rolled in the same way 
as specified for asphaltic concrete to a finished thickness of not less than 2A". 

Mixed seal coat shall consist of fine graded sand of the same quality as 
specified for sheet asphalt and a quantity of asphaltic cement just sufficient to 
cover all particles. 

The mixture shall be laid as in the case of sheet asphalt but to a thickness 
of |" only. It shall then be rolled and swept over with Portland cement or 
stone dust. 

IV. Specification for 2" asphaltic concrete. 
Asphaltic concrete shall be laid in one layer of 2" thickness. 

The mineral aggregate shall consist of crushed trap rock, other sound stone 
or slag (free from weathered and dirty particles), sand and a finely powdered 
mineral filler, all of which shall meet the approval of the Engineer. 

The sand and filler shall be of the same quality as specified for sheet 

The stone shall all pass a screen of 2 meshes to the lineal inch and all re- 
tained on a 10 mesh screen. 

The aggregate and asphaltic cement shall be mixed in the same way as 
specified for sheet asphalt and the proportions shall be such that the combina- 
tion shall consist of a standard sheet asphalt surface mixture and an amount 
of broken stone containing not more than from 8 to 22% of particles passing a 4 
mesh and less than 10% of pail ides passing a 2 iru sh screen, showing no 
excess or deficiency of bitumen. 

The mixture shall then be hauled to the street in lorries covered with can- 
vas and shall be laid at a temperature of not under 280F., by means of rakes to 
the correct depth and then rolled by Tandem rollers, Portland cement or stone 
dust being swept over it after it has consolidated. 

Statistical information relating to the Bombay Municipality. 

Statements and information supplied to the Government of Bombay by 
the Bombay Municipality showing the financial effects of substitution of 
asphalt for water-bound road surfaces, and the initial and maintenance costs 
of various methods of asphalting. Reproduced by the courtesy of the Chief 
Engineer and Joint Secretary to the Government of Bombay, Public Works 


A. Information supplied by the Municipal Commissioner > Bombay, in June 1928 
in reply to certain questions regarding roads. 

Information asked for. 

1. Total number of miles (and square yards) 
of original water- bound macadam surface 
under the Bombay Municipality. 

2. Total cost of construction of 1 above and 
per sq. yd. 

3. Life of water-bound macadam surface 

4. Total cost of maintenance of water- 
bound macadam surface ( and per sq. yd. ) 
of 1 above. 

5. Total cost of annual maintenance of 
water-bound macadam surface (and per sq. 
yd.) of such portion as was subsequently 
asphalted, as per 6 below. 

6. Number of miles asphalted out of 1. 

7. Total cost of construction of asphaltod 
roads (and per sq. yd.) of 6. 


143 miles out of a total of 178 miles in 
1921-22 ; area approximately 33,55,000 sq. 

Cannot be given. Present cost about 
Rs. 1-8-0 per sq. yd. for 6" metalling. 

Varies from 6 months to 2 years according 
to traffic conditions. 

Rs. 1-2-0 per sq. yd. for 3" resurfacing 

Nil so far. 

1 1 miles out of a total of 20 miles. 

Rs. 30,51,185 for 20 miles for wearing 
surface only. 

B. Initial cost and estimated maintenance costs of various methods of asphalting. 


Initial cost 




per sq. 



cost p. a. pet- 
square yard. 


Rs. A. P. 


2" asphaltic concrete 




2J* mixed macadam with mixed seal 




3" penetration macadam 





C. Note shomng the method followed infixing the annual cost of repairs and 
renewals given in statement. 

y sheet asphalt on 4" cement concrete laid over existing rubble packing. 

Unit area 10,000 sq. yards . . . . . . (A). 

Cost of new surface Rs. 6 5 per sq. yard . . . . (B). 


1 (N). 

.. 10,000 (A) x 6- 5 (B)xl (N). 

=Rs. 65,000. 

Life of surface 15 years 
Number of renewals in 30 years 
Cost of renewal in 30 years 

Cost of renewal per annum 


Cost of annua] repairs at 2 annas per sq. yard 
Annual charges for maintenance and renewal 

Interest at 6% on Rs. 1,12,500 

Sinking Fund at 4% for 30 years on Rs. 1,12,500 

Total yearly charges 

=2,167 (D). 

... Rs. 1,250 (E). 

2,167 (D)+ 1,250 (E). 

Rs. 3,417. 
. . Rs. 6,750. 
. . Rs. 2,006. 
Rs. 12,173. 

Same as above but with 8 ft. margins on either side of the road to be 
sett paved. 

Unit area 10,000 sq. yards . . . . _ (A). 

Cost of new surface (inclusive of setts) Rs. 6-25 per sq. yard (B). 

Life of surface 15 years . . . . . . (C). 

Number of renewals in 30 years . . 
Cost of renewal in 30 years 



10,000 (A) x 6- 25 (B)xl (N). 
=Re. 62,500. 

Cost of renewal per annum 

Cost of annual repairs at 2 annas sq. yard . . 
Annual charges for maintenance and renewal 

Interest at 6% on Rs. 1,10,000 

Sinking Fund at 4% for 30 years on Rs. 

Total yearly charges 


=Rs. 2,083 (D). 

Rs. 1,250(E). 

Rs. 2,083 (D)+ 1,250 (E). 

Rs. 3,333. 

Rs. 6,600. 

Rs. 1,962. 

Rs. 11,895. s 

mt showily the financial effects of the substitution of asphalt roads for water -bound surfaces. 





T t. , Nor. The information given is in respect of 3* sheet asphalt on concrete foundations, which has been largely adopted for important roads in Bombay 
it should be clearly understood that the figures are for roads subjected to heavy traffic only. J ' 

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Little work with improved road surfaces has been done outside the city of 
Calcutta. The information below has kindly been furnished by the Chief Engi- 
neers to the Corporation of Calcutta, the Calcutta Port Commissioners, and 
the Calcutta Improvement Trust. 


Prior to 1917, Calcutta Corporation made a number of experiments and 
put down a considerable area of road surface using ' Tar Macadam ' laid mainly 
by the * Penetration ' or pouring method. These road surfaces were a great 
improvement but still left a great deal to be desired and with the adoption of 
* bitumen ' as a binder, the use of tar or pitch has been definitely abandoned with 
satisfactory results. 

The system adopted is that generally known as the hot mix asphaltic 
concrete method, the thickness of the carpet being determined by traffic and 
other local conditions. Surface painting is also adopted to a considerable 
extent in the suburban and outlying areas, the bitumen being applied hot. 

The following mileages of roads have been paved with asphaltum in Cal- 
cutta up to the end of 1927. 

3" thick .. .. .. .. .. 1-00 

2" thick .. .. .. .. .. 37-58 

1" thick .. .. .. .. .. 8-50 

y thick .. .. .. .. .. 7-25 

There are three asphalt mixing plants situated at a central depot at 
Palmer's Bridge pumping station, each plant having an output of about 10 
tons per hour. 

The stone metal used is prismodial Trap which is machine crushed and 
screened to gauge at the depot. The materials are heated and screened and 
mixed in the plant in definite weighed proportions according to the maximum 
density curve for the particular thickness of road carpet to be laid. The maxi- 
mum density curve is checked up from time to time. 

Bitumen. The bulk of the bitumen used is a residual bitumen from a petrole- 
um base and is a standardised product manufactured by the large oil concerns 
such as the Standard Oil Company and the Asiatic Petroleum Company. A 
penetration of about 30/40 is adopted for the asphaltic concrete carpets while a 
higher penetration of 100 or over is found more suitable for surface painting. 
Local materials available and local conditions of climate, traffic, etc., control 
and indicate the most suitable penetration to adopt. 

Recording thermometers are used to keep a check on the heating of the 

Transport, etc. The hot mixture is transported to the road to be surfaced 
in motor lorries fitted with steel tipping bodies. 

The ordinary standardised rolling methods are adopted, cross rolling and 
diagonal rolling being done wherever possible which unfortunately is not very 
frequent except in the case of wide roads. 

*Nbte by Mr. J. R. Coats, B.Sc., M. Inst. C.E., M. I. Mecii. E., Chief Engineer to the 
Corporation of Calcutta. 



The asphaltum paving is ordinarily laid on the old water-bound maoadam 
road surface which is prepared by cutting and dressing, if required, to receive 

A concrete foundation has also been used occasionally in the case of newly 
constructed roads or in cases where the old macadam crust was not thick 
enough. On the whole good results have been obtained although there have been 
occasional failures which have been traced to definite causes and noted for 
future guidance. The main causes have been insufficient thickness of paving to 
withstand heavy bullock cart traffic and weak foundations. 

Experiments have also been carried out with the use of cold emulsions of 
bitumen and it would appear that there is likely to be a wide field for the use of 
this class of material but sufficient time has not yet elapsed to give an autho- 
ritative opinion. 

The working systems adopted in Calcutta Corporation are the evolution 
of some 1 2 years' experience of laying bituminous roads in that city and have 
been carefully organised and modified whenever necessary to give maximum 
economy combined with efficiency and convenience to traffic. 

Analyses of rates for asphaltum work are given in the following statement. 


Analyses of rates for Asphaltum work for 1926-27. 


Analyses of rates for AspkaUum 

Asphaltic concrete pavement* 



3* Layer. 

2" Layer. 






Rs. A. P. 

Rs. A. P. 

Rs. A. p. 

1. Stone chip No. 1 
2. Stone chip No. 2 
3. Sand 

1,200 c-.ft. 

\ 33 
11 6 3 

742 8 

246 7 

800 o. ft. 

\ 33 
11 6 3 

4. Asphaltum 
6. Katni cement . . 

260 cwt. 
6 tons. 


1,608 12 
300 (J 

173 cwt. 
4 tons. 


6. Steam coal 


8 12 

52 8 


8 12 

For 1,000 sq. yards 


2,949 12 7 


1. Cost of material per sq. 

9 1 


2 15 3 



2. Preparation of bed 


3. Lorry charges 


4. Cost of asphalt mixture, 


preparation, laying and 

consolidating with roller 


5. Tools and plant 


4 1 6 

Sav 400 


Asphaltic mastic water- proofing. 

Particular!. T Kver on sin 8 le storey roofa. 





Rfl A. P 

Ra. A. p. 

1. Stone chip No. 1 .... Nil. 
2. Stone chip No. 2. . ! ! Nil. 

3. Sand ... 1,000 c ft. 

11 6 3 

113 14 6 

4. Asphaltum . mm 75-71 cwt. 
5. Katni cement . .. 2-42 tons 


468 7 4 

6. Steam coal , tm , 2-33 

8 12 

20 6 3 

For 1,000 sq. yards 

723 12 1 

1 . Cost of material per sq. yard 
2. Preparation of bed . . . . . . ... 

11 7 

3. Lorry charges 

1 6 

4. Cost of asphaltum mixture, preparation, laying 
and consolidating with roller complete. 
f>. Tools and plant 



Bay 1 4 


work for 1926-27. 

for road surfaces. 


r Layer. 




Rate. Amount. 

Quantity, j Rate. Amount. 




Rs. A. P. Rs. 


P. ' Rs A P. 





067 c-.ft. 

33 220 



9 333 v-.ft. 33 







11 6 3 104 


3 583 cwt. 11 6 3 






111-6-0 cwt. 

630 690 



70-07 630 





2 -60 tons 

50 130 

1-30 tons 50 




8 12 26 


2-23 8 12 











. . 

































9 .. ' ., 



say 2 


sayl 12 

say 1 

Surface treatment with 


Painting stone or brick roads. 

Seal coating on asphalt pavement roads. 


Rate. ! Amount. 


Qunatity. , Rate. 


Rs. A. r. i Rs. A. p. 


Re. A. P. 

Rs. A. *. 

100 c.ft. 
100 c. ft. 
52 cwt. 

33 ; 33 
11 6 3 , 11 6 3 

630 321 12 


100 c.ft. 
15 cwt. 

11 6 3 

11 "G 3 

92 13 


*8 12 j 460 

J ton. 

8 12 


i 370 8 3 

108 9 3 

* * 

i 5 11 


1 9 

i 8 11 
say 10 


say 5 



(1) 2" asphaUic* concrete on lime concrete foundation. This form of con- 
struction has proved unsatisfactory, as the lime concrete is too friable to resist 
the ' creeping ' tendency of the asplialt carpet. No roads have been constructed 
in this way since 1922. 

(2) 2" asphaltic concrete on water-bound stone macadam foundation. 
This form of construction is largely used by the Calcutta Corporation and has 
proved generally satisfactory, provided the foundation is sufficiently consolidat- 
ed and the asphalt is properly mixed and not overheated. It costs about Rs. 45 
per 100 sq. ft. for foundation (thickness 13" including brick soling) and Rs. 40 
per 100 sq. ft. for surfacing. 

(3) 2" asphaltic concrete on cement concrete foundation. Some experimental 
lengths have given good result^. The cost is about Rs. 44 per 100 sq. ft. for 
foundation (6" thick, 1:2:4) and Rs. 40 per 100 sq. ft. for surfacing. 

(4) 2" asphalt blocks on cement concrete foundation. It is proposed to ex- 
periment with this method of surfacing in* a roadway over a reinforced con- 
crete bridge carrying heavy traffic. 

(5) Water-bound stone macadam foundation with asphalt grouted surface. 
This method of construction is being largely adopted by the Trust for newly 
made roads with moderately heavy traffic, and for resurfacing existing roads. 
The grouted layer is from 2" to 2|" thick, and is laid on a cushion of dry sand, 
which is forced up into the interstices between the stones, thus reducing the 
quantity of grout required. The cost (total thickness 15" including brick soling 
and grouted layer) is about Rs. 45 per 100 sq. ft. for foundation (thickness 13" 
including brick soling) and Rs. 21 per 100 sq. ft. for surface layer. 

(6) Water-bound stone macadam foundation with cement grouted surface. 
Experiments have been made with this system with hopeful results. It appears 
that the best method of applying the grout is to sandwich it in the form of a stiff 
paste between two layers of stone so that the roller forces it both up and down. 
No figures of cost are yet available. 

(7) Water-bound stone macadam with asphalt painted surface. This is the 
usual form of construction for roads carrying medium traffic. The asphalt 
is applied by hand about 2 months after the road has been opened to traffic, and 
is kept heavily sanded for several weeks. The cost (surfacing only) is about 
Rs. 7 per 100 sq. ft. 

(8) Concrete. All concrete roads have been laid experimentally by the 
Improvement Trust and are giving good results. Experience to date shows 
that contraction joints should be provided at intervals of about 30 ft. and that 
a good wearing road is obtainable with the following specification : 

Thickness. Bottom course . . . . . . . . 5" 

Top course . . . . . . . . 2" 

Coarse aggregate. 

Bottom course, broken trap rock graded from 1J" to i". 

Top course, broken trap rock graded from f " to J". 

*Note by Mr. M. R. Atkins. B.Sc., M. Inst. C. E., Chief Engineer. 


Fine aggregate. Crushed quartz gravel graded from \* downwards. 

Cement. Indian manufacture, developing a tensile strength of 700 Ibs. 
per sq. inch at 7 days. 

Concrete proportions. Bottom course . . . . 1:2:4 

Top course . . . . 1:1:2 

Foundation. Layer of broken brick, punned and rolled. 
Method of curing. Ponding with water for 14 days. 

Surface treatment on completion. Silicate of soda, 3 applications at 
intervals of 24 hours. 

Beinforcement does not appear to be essential except when the ground is liable 
to uneven settlement. 

The cost of a concrete road is about Rs. 75 per 100 sq. ft. 

In the Kidderpore Dock area there are three typos of roads, namely (1) 
water-bound macadam, (2) jhama brick khoa and (3) stone sett roads. With- 
out regard to width of road, drainage of subsoil water, traffic conditions, etc., 
the sections of these roads are generally as follows : 

1. Water-bound macadam road. 3" picked jhama brick soling, 6" con- 
solidated, 2" size, hard black trap stone road metal. 
2. Jhama brick khoa road. 3" picked jhama brick soling, 6" consoli- 
dated jhama metal khoa of 2\" size. 

3. Stone sett road. Stone and cement concrete 1" thick, mixture 5:3:1, 

aggregate 2" black trap stone. 3" brick soling was laid where soil 

of formation demanded it. Stone setts 10" X 5" Y 4,1" size were 

laid, embedded in \" of silver sand, diagonally from the centre line 

of the road, the line of the setts on one half of the road being at 

right angles to the line of the setts on the other half of the road. 

In most cases in the area no provision has been made for subsoil drainage 

nor has it been possible to do so. Surface run off has been allowed for in some 

cases by means of stone slab channels with channel gratings connected to a pipe 

drain in the centre of the road, and in others by open drains on both or one side 

of the road. 

The methods of construction, maintenance and surface treatment of these 
roads have been as follows : 

1. Construction. (a) Water-bound macadam. 

The ground is excavated to the full width of the road to a depth 9" 
below the proposed level of the finished road, the formation being dressed to the 
proposed camber of the road surface, a fall of 1 in 40 usually being allowed. The 
formation is then brick soled 3" brick on flat with jhama bricks. Stone road 
metal of 2" size is screened and spread to a thickness of 4-J" and rolled with a 
10 ton steam road roller 3 times dry. The metal usually obtained is black trap 
and 2" metal is found to be a suitable size for the kind of stone and type of road. 
The pieces of stone should be as nearly cubical as practicable and regular in size 

* Note by Mr. J. McGlashan, M. Inst. C, E., Chief Engineer. 


to minimise crushing by the roller, irregular size metal is liable to crush more. 
With a softer stone it would probably be advisable to use 2J" to 2J" sizes. After 
rolling 3 times dry the metal is watered sufficiently to assist in consolidation and 
to minimise crushing, care being taken to ensure that too much water is not used 
to avoid softening and weakening the formation earth. Rolling is carried on 
whilst watering is being done and consolidation is considered to be sufficient 
when the roller has passed over the metal about 80 times. Complete consolida- 
tion is not effected in this layer, to permit a better bond between the two layers. 
The second layer of 2" stone metal 4]" thick is then spread and rolled 2 or 3 times 
dry. Further consolidation is carried out with watering judiciously as in the 
consolidation of the first layer. Binding material is then spread. As well con- 
solidated metal contains about 25% to 30% of voids, the quantity of binding used 
is based on this, a little excess material being used to ensure that all interstices 
are filled but care however being taken to avoid displacement of the metal through 
a large excess of binding material. The binding material used is composed of 
stone chips and stone dust obtained from screening the metal, and when this 
is not obtained in sufficient quantities building rubbish consisting of old mortar, 
plaster, small pieces of brick, etc., from dismantled buildings is added. This 
mixture makes a good binder being neither too earthy nor too sharp. In the 
event of building rubbish not being available a binding mortar consisting of one 
part soorki, two parts cinders and one part rejected lime mixed in the mortal 
mill has been used. 

After the spreading of the binder, watering is done followed at once by 
rolling, the wet binding material being well brushed over the surface as the 
roller passes backwards and forwards till consolidation is complete. In rolling 
the second layer of metal the roller is passed over from 90 to 100 times. 

(b) Jhama brick khoa road. Excavation, dressing formation to the camber 
and soling is done as for a macadam road. 9" of jhama metal khoa of 2|* 
size is spread, rolled 2 or 3 times dry with a 6 ton roller and finally consolidated 
with careful watering, the screenings from the khoa metal alone or mixed with 
building rubbish being used as binding material. It is not advisable to use a 
roller heavier than 6 ton or excessive attrition will take place. 

(c) Stone sett road. The approach road to riverside berths from the 
Neemak Mahal Garden Reach Road j unction was constructed in the following 
manner : 

The formation width of 20' was excavated to a depth of 12" below the pro- 
posed level of the finished road surface and dressed to a camber of 1 in 60. 
Where the formation earth was particularly bad 3" brick soling was laid, allow- 
ance being made for this in the excavation at the sites. Cement concrete in the 
proportion of 5 : 3 : 1, the aggregate being 2" stone metal, was laid to a thickness 
of 7" over the formation level and finished to the camber of the road being allow- 
ed to set under water. Stone setts of black trap rock 10" x 5" X 4|" were 
laid bedded in \" of silver sand and grouted in with cement and sand grout. The 
setts were laid at an angle of 45 from the centre line of the road in opposite 
directions. The usual precautions of watering the sett paving, keeping the 
road closed to traffic till the cement grout had set properly, were observed. 

2. Maintenance of roads. Our practice is to repair pot holes as they 
develop, and to periodically re-coat the road with a thick layer of stone. This 


^nsures that a proper thickness of metal is maintained and is preferable to patch- 
ing and repairing as required, under which method it is likely that, although a 
good surface is maintained, the thickness of the metal may become inadequate. 

In re-coating the road surface there is the choice of (1) scarifying and (2) 
picking up the road. In the case of water-bound macadam roads it has been our 
practice to pick up to a depth of about 1|". The old metal is screened and 
then mixed with additional new metal of 2" size and the mixture spread to such 
a depth as will give 6" consolidated metal finally. Usually a layer of 3" is 
sufficient. Consolidation dry, wet and with binding is then carried out in the 
same manner avS in constructing a new road. The screenings from the old and 
new metal are used as a binder with as much additional building rubbish as is 

Similarly, in repairing a khoa road the surface is picked to a depth ot about 
2", the old khoa screened, mixed with the required quantity of new 2J" khoa 
and consolidated and bound with binding material composed of the screenings 
of the old and new khoa. 

3. Surface treatment. The rapid development of high speed mechanical 
traction has enormously increased the wear and tear on our roads. Motor lorry 
and motor omnibus traffic has been particularly damaging to road surfaces* 
producing in a short time surface corrugations and pot holes of considerable 
depth. The impact upon the road surface combined with the uneven distribu- 
tion of weight in the case of these vehicles increases the amount of damage 

In the Kidderpore Dock area we have the problem of certain roads sub- 
jected to extremely heavy traffic and others which do not have sufficient traffic 
to keep them properly rolled under existing climatic conditions. The roads 
subjected to very heavy traffic, notably the swing bridge approaches on Garden 
Reach Road and Circular Garden Reach Road, rapidly develop pot holes, and 
require continual attention in making good these weak spots, and have to be re- 
surfaced every year. Other roads such as roads East and West of No. 1 Dock 
and Kantapuker Road generally have a disintegrated surface due to insufficient 
watering in the dry weather, insufficient traffic and washing out of binding 
material during the monsoon. 

With the primary objects of preventing surface disintegration and the 
lessening of the dust nuisance a programme of surface dressing with various- 
proprietory materials was embarked upon about 15 months ago. The experi- 
ments carried out were as follows : 

Six different materials have been used : 

(1) Mexphalte. 

(2) Bitarco. 

(3) Mexaco road oils. 

(4) Ormul. 

(5) Colfix. 

(6) Colas. 


There are two methods of application of each material, i.e., grouting and 
surface dressing. In only two cases has grouting been done, with Mexphalte 
and with Colas. 

Mexphalte and Bitarco have to be heated to a certain temperature and re- 
duced to a liquid state before application. Mexaco road oil is applied cold 
and is a preparation of bitumen and oils treated under heat. Ormul, Colfix 
and Colas are emulsions and are applied cold. 

Mexphalte and Bitarco applied as a surface dressing have little penetration 
and result in a skin of material over the macadam. The other four materials 
applied cold penetrate to a greater extent but do not give an even skin over the 
surface. In the case of Mexaco road oil it has been found that under traffic 
conditions the binding materials appear to work to the surface and eventually 
give a surface coating. 

The method of preparation of the road surface for the receiving of the dress- 
ing is the same in all cases with the exception that in the case of the emulsions 
it is not essential that the road surface be perfectly dry, in fact it is in some cases 
recommended that prior to application of the material the road surface be 

Assuming the road to be in a good condition all dust and dirt are removed 
by brushing, wire brushes being used where necessary. It is essential that clean- 
ing be done thoroughly. Mexphalte and Bitarco are poured in a hot liquid state 
on to the dry prepared road surface and either brushed or squeezed over to an 
even thickness depending upon the condition of the surface. Small stone chip- 
ings, pea gravel or sand is then lightly spread immediately and rolled in with a 
light roller. When this has been done the road can be opened to traffic. Me- 
xaco road oil s poured on the surface and brushed to as even a layer as pos- 
sible, the quantity used depending on the smoothness of the surface. It is left 
to stand from 48 to 72 hours to enable penetration to take place. Stone 
chippings or sand is then spread evenly and lightly over the oil and allowed to 
stand again for about 48 hours. Light rolling may then be done and the road 
opened to traffic. 

Ormul, Colfix and Colas are poured over the prepared surface brushed in a 
manner similar to that described above, after which stone chippings or sand is 
immediately spread lightly and rolled in, after which the road can be opened to 

The use of Colfix, Colas and Bitarco is so recent that we are not in a posi- 
tion to give an experienced and considered opinion on the results of using them. 
Both Mexphalte and Mexaco road oils have been found satisfactory in 
reducing dust, preventing the disintegration of the road surface during 
dry weather and during heavy rains, keeping the binding material together and, 
particularly in the case of Mexphalte, in reducing the development of pot holes 
and the wear on the macadam. 


The rates per hundred sq. ft. for constructing a macadamised road with 
(a) 9" jhama metal and (6) 9" stone metal are as follows : 

Us. A. P. 

(a) Cutting earth 100 c. ft. at Rs. 6-4-0 per 1,000 . . 10 

Jhama soling 100 sq. ft. at Rs. 6 per 100 . . ..600 

Jhama metal 75 c. ft. at Rs. 18 per 100 .. . . 13 8 

Consolidating 100 sq. ft. at Rs. 2-8-0 per 100 ..280 

22 10 

Say Rs. 24 per 100 sq. ft. including charges for steam road roller. 

Rs. A. p. 

(6) Cutting earth 100 c. ft. at Rs. 6/4 per 1,000 . . 10 

Jhama soling 100 sq. ft. at Rs. 6 per 100 . . ..600 

Stone metal 75 c. ft. at Rs. 25-8-0 per 100 . . ..1920 

Consolidating 100 sq. ft. at Rs. 2-8-0 per 100 ..280 

28 4 
Say Rs. 30 per 100 sq. ft. including charges for stearn road roller. 


During the last 3 years improved forms of road surfacing have been carried 
out on 74J miles as follows : 


1. Cement concrete . . . . . . . . If 

2. Asphalt Macadam T. R. A. . . . . . . 8| 

3. Asphaltic Concrete (Mexphalte) . . . . . . If 

. 4. Asphaltic Concrete T. R. A. . . . . . . J 

5. Grouting T. R. A. . . . . . . . . 8J 

6. Grouting Mexphalte . . . . . . . . 8| 

7. Grouting Pitch and Tar . . . . . . -J 

8. Surface Painting T. R. A. . . . . . . 7 

9. Surface Painting Spramex . . . . . . 24f 

10. Surface Painting Asphaltum . . . . . . 

11. Surface Painting Tar . . . . . . . . 4J 

12. Mexaco treatment . . . . . . . . 7 

Total . . 

* Note on improved forms of road surface in the United Provinces by the Chief Engi- 
neer, Public Works Department, Buildings and Roads Branch, United Provinces. 


The following is a very brief description of the work done, cost of the same 
and conclusions so far arrived at : 

1. Cement concrete. This work consists of a 6" slab, 20' wide of cement 
concrete thickened at the edges to 9" laid on the alternate bay system. The 
concrete has been laid in two layers and the mixture in each layer is 1 : 2 : 4, a 
stronger mixture \\ ad at first tried in the top layer but the results did not seem 
to justify the extra cost. The surface of the concrete was treated with silicate 
of soda. The cost has worked out at Rs. 5-12-0 per square yard. The concrete 
has been down for over two years and carries a very heavy load of bullock cart 
traffic, but up to the present there are no signs of wear on the surface. 

In addition to the above work cement concrete has been laid round the 
corners of the hill road leading to Naini Tal and some of it has been down for 
8 years, except for trouble at the joints the surface shows little signs of wear. 

The conclusion I have arrived at is that this form of surface is eminently 
suited for heavy concentrated cart traffic. 

2. Premix. The asphalt macadam consists of a 2" coat, whilst the asphal- 
tic concrete is only 2" thick. The material is mixed and heated in a machine, 
carried hot to the site and laid. The cost of asphalt macadam with T. R. A. 
varies from Rs. 4-10-0 to Rs. 4-15-0 per square yard, whilst the cost of asphaltic 
concrete with Mexphalte is Rs. 4-11-0 and with T. R. A. is Rs. 5-1-0 per 
equare yard. 

Most of the work has been down for nearly 2 years and where the traffic is 
well distributed and moderate, it has been a success, but under concentrated 
bullock cart traffic there are distinct signs of waviness and even of breaking. 
The conclusion arrived at is that this form of surface is suitable for moderate 
and well distributed traffic, but will not stand up to very heavy concentrated 
bullock cart traffic, as during the hot weather it gets soft and the carts moving 
in one continuous line form ruts, sections cut through these ruts show that the 
movement is entirely in the surface coat and not in the foundation. A further 
disadvantage is that generally before the surface coat can be laid, an under coat 
of water-bound metal is required which brings the cost in excess of that of 
cement concrete. 

3. Grouting. Consists in laying a 3" coat of stone and pouring bitumen 
heated to 350 in kettles at the rate of 1-75 gallons per square yard after con- 
solidation of a seal coat of -5 gallon per square yard is given. 

The costs work out as follows : 

T. R. A. grout Rs. 3 to Rs. 3-12-0 per square yard. 
Mexphalte grout Rs. 2-14-0 to Rs. 3-6-0 per square yard. 
Pitch and Tar grout Rs. 3-4-0 per square yard. 

The resulting surface under moderate traffic on a 16' road has been a success 
but on a 24' road under heavy traffic where carts are not diverted from one line, 
the surface ruts badly being too plastic in the hot weather. The rutting is more 
noticeable in T, R. A. than in Mexphalte and the latter gives a harder surface. 
From the excessive bleeding of T. R. A., I am inclined to think that the amount 
of bitumen poured is excessive and I am trying to overcome this by reducing 
the quantities of grout and seal to 1-5 and '3 gallons per square yard. 


The short length of pitch and tar has not proved a great success as it is 
breaking up, but a length laid in the Cawnpore municipality seems to be stand- 
ing better. 

In conclusion I consider that grouting is suitable up to 16' width for mod- 
erate traffic, but should be avoided in greater widths where heavy bullock cart 
traffic is likely to be met with. 

4. Painting. Consists in pouring hot bitumen or tar over the consolidated 
water-bound surface at a rate of -5 gallon per square yard. The cost for 
one coat of bitumen or two coats of tar is about 0-8-0 annas per square yard. 

Tar painting on a kankar surface is excellent for light traffic and has been 
tried with success in Lucknow on the Mall ; it gives a dustless surface and prolongs 
the life of the metal surface below. 

T. R. A. has been tried on kankar and stone, it is equally successful under 
light traffic, but under bullock cart traffic it is apt to peel off owing to the grind- 
ing of the cart wheels forming a layer of dust between the paint and the water- 
bound coat. 

Spramex paint has been used extensively on stone and after 9 months is 
holding well, though there have been cases where it has peeled off the same as 
T. R. A. Asphaltum tried on stone under light traffic has been down for 3 
years with only one repaint after 2 years. The conclusions so far arrived at 
are that Road Board Tar No. 1 is undoubtedly the best for a kankar road ; 
and that bitumen paint prolongs the life of a stone mile provided the traffic is 
not excessive, and if it can be prevented from peeling off will, in the course of 
time, with renewals, form a wearing surface over the water-bound metal. 

5. Mexaco. Prepared by Road Oil Company Limited, Calcutta, is a 
combination of bitumen and oil containing 65% bitumen. It is applied cold and 
the makers claim that it penetrates the surface and forms an efficient binder 
to water-bound surfaces. This material has the great advantage that it can be 
applied cold and does not require any expensive plant. The cost works out 
at 0-6-0 annas per square yard and one gallon covers 2J to 3 square yards 
on the first application. 

Several miles have been tried, but the first has only been done 7 months 
back and it is too early to say whether it will be a success, but it undoubtedly 
penetrates, binds the metal together and does not peel off like bitumen paint. 
Under light traffic it gives a good and dustless travelling surface, whilst under 
heavy traffic it seems to give better results than bitumen paint. In my 
opinion it is likely to prove a success specially on rough stone roads where 
the surface binding frequently works loose and blows away. Whether a 
second coat of Mexaco or bitumen will give the best results remains to be 
proved ; experiments are being tried. 

Experiments are being tried with Mexaco on kankar, but so far there doed 
not appear to be much penetration and I arn not prepared to say what the 
result will be like. 



The following table shows the progress made to date with improved forma 
of road surfaces on the arterial roads in this province : 

Nature of surface. 

on 1st 

on 31st 

Stone metal, bitumen sprayed 



Stone metal, tar sprayed 



Stone metal, tar and bitumen sprayed 



Stone metal, bitumen grouted, but left unsealed 



Stone metal, bitumen grouted and sealed 



Brick metal, bitumen grouted and sealed 


23- 125 

Brick metal, bitumen grouted, but left unsealed 



Whole brick, dipped in bitumen, laid as a pavement and surface 



Sand carpet 




145- 555 J 

I have also made enquiries regarding the work carried out by municipa- 
lities and although tar spraying and bitumen painting have been done in a 
number of places I do not think there is anything of special interest to report. 

In 1923-25 a number of experiments were tried on the Grand Trunk Road 
near Lahore, but unfortunately I have not been able to trace any official report 

* Letter from the Deputy Chief Engineer, Public Works Department, Buildings and 
Eoads Branch, Punjab. 


on the result of these experiments. The following statement, showing the re- 
sults so far as they oould recently be ascertained, may be of interest : 

Experiment lengths of road surfacings laid in miles 306 and 309 of itie Grand 

Trunk Road in 192325. 







(January 1928). 











Sq. yds. 







Tar painting over Pathankot 
metal in Febinary 1924 and 
repainted in August 1924. 

Tar and bitumen in equal 
proportions painting over 
Pathankot metal (August 

Bitumen painting over Pa- 
thankot metal m Februaiy 

Bitumen painting over a coat 
of crude oil on Pathankot 
metal (Febinary 1924). 

Tar and bitumen in equal pro- 
poihon.s punted over ce- 
ment-grouted Pathankot 
metal (September 1924) 

Tar pnmfing over cement- 
grouted Pathankot metal 
(September 1924). 

Jhama-biiek ballastf grouted 
with mastic composed of 
equal pa its by weight of 
sand and bitumen applied 
at the iato ot 1-54 gallon 
mastic to the square yard 
(April 1924). 

Pathankot metal* grouted 
with the same mastic as 
above but applied at the 
rate </l 1-47 gallons to the 
square yard (April 1924). 

Ditto mastic applied at the 
rate oi 1-77 gallons to the 
square yard (April 1924). 

Ditto mastic applied at the 
rate of 1-39 gallons to the 
square yard (December 

The traffic over these experi- 
mental sections was re- 
ckoned as 315 tons per 
yard width per day. Mr. 
G. Gilbert, the officer in 
charge of the work, reports 
that with the exception of 
tho bitumen penetration 
in furlong 308/2 all sec- 
tions wore very badly and 
that by September 1926 
the surfaces were so bad 
that they had to be coated 
with 1^-in. of sand car- 
pet.* Tins carpet, has 
since broken up m a num- 
ber of places and has had 
to bo repaired. It is now 
( Januaiy 1928) faiily hard, 
but wavy throughout, 
and in the hot weather it 
becomes soft and spreads 
on to the bonus. 

* The sand carpet consisted of 49 parts by weight of Pathankot sand, 25 parts of J" to J* 
Btone chips, 16 parts of Portland cement and 10 parts of bitumen (E. Grade Mexphalte m 
sections 1 11 and 104 Grade Socony bitumen elsewhere), 

t A 3-in. coat broken to 2-in. eauee. 






(January 1928). 

Sq. yds. 


-A rr 90 9 

GJutrin and Pathankot metal 

This was renewed in March 


(December 1923) 

1926, with water- bound 

Serai-kala stone tar paint- 

ed (2 coats) and again 




Dlutrin and limestone (Janu- 

painted in May 1927. It 


ary 1924). 

is now (January 1928) in 

very good order. 




Serai-knl.i limestone, water- 

Resurfaced with water- 


bound macadam (March 

bound Seiai-kala stone 


metal and tar painted in 

March 1927. 




Nalairaih stone, water- bound 

Including the sand carpet 


macadam (July 1925). 

has broken up completely 




Pcnetia f i<m 1-5 gallons of 



Socony bitumen per square 

yard of 1 in. Pathankot 

quart/ite metal broken to 

1 .\ in gauge sealed with 5 

gallon bitumen per square 

vanl and gritted (March 


-The original smface is now 


very wavy. 





Same as section No 15 but 

with a second sealing coat 

of 0-3 gallon bitumen |>er 

square yaid (March 1923). 




Same as Section No. 15 




6-in. plain cement concrete 



slab(l :2:4). 




6-in. reinforced* concrete slab 


(1 :2:4). 

The sand carpet slides over 

the concrete and in places 




6-in. plain cement concrete 

- has spread 18-in. across 


slab laid in two courses up- 

the berm. The thickness 

per H-m. (1 : 2: 2J) 

is only J-in. in places, sur- 

lower course (1 : 2 : 5). 

face very uneven. 




3-in. plain cement concrete 


slab(l :2: *). 




2-in. asphalt carpet consist- 

Surface hard but uneven. 


ing of 80 parts by weight of 

The thickness of the car- 

Pathankot sand, 10 parts 

pet varies from J* to 2*. 

of canal silt and 10 parts of 

This also has spread on to 

E. Grade Socony bitumen 

the bermft. 

(December 1923). 




Water-bound macadam (Ap- 

Renewed February 1927. 

ril 1924). 

* The reinforcement consisted of J-in. diameter rods, 2 ft. 6-in, apart, 2-in. below the 


As a result of these experiments it was decided that bitumen-treated roads 
had a better chance of standing up to bullock cart traffic than concrete roads 
and consequently recent experiments have been restricted to using various 
grades of bitumen. The following give particulars of some of the specifica- 
tions to which we have worked with analysis of cost. It is, however, too soon 
yet to draw any general deductions from the condition of the surfaces : 

Trinidad Asphalt (unsealed). 

Position of work. 

Date when 


Analysis ot cost per 100 sq. ft. 


lis. a. p. 


April 1925 

Penetration 1 25 gallons 

25 e. tt. bdlust at <> 4 

Ho ad. Furlongs 

(15-5/8 Ib ) of Trinidad 

25 pei KM) f. ft. 

3-5 of mile 44 

asphalt with 25% of 

6{ c ft. bajn at 280 

(12 ft. wide). 

flux oil per sq. yd. of 

40 pei KM) r. ft. 

3-in. of Pathankot 

131) Ib asphalt at 17 

quart/ite broken to H in. 

14 pei cwt. 

gauge, no sealing coat. 

35 Ib flux oil at 5 5 

17 per cwt. 

Consolidation .. 100 

Labour and fuel 110 

in heating, mix- 

ing and applying. 

Actual cost per 100 sq. ft. . . 33 8 

Actual cost persq. yd. .. 306 

Socony Mastic (unsealed). 

Position of work. 

Date when 


Analyms of cost per 100 sq. ft. 

Rs. a. p. 

Amritsar- Bai jnath 

April 1925 

Penetration 1 75 gallons 

25 c. ft. ballast at 040 

Road. Furlongs 

(27 Ib.) mastic consist- 

25 per 100 c. ft. 

6-8 of mile 44 

ing of equal parts by 

6 c. ft. bajri at 280 

(12ft. wide). 

weight of sand and So- 

40 per 100 c. ft. 

cony bitumen on each 

1 c. ft. sand at 040 

sq. yd. of 3-in. of Pathan- 

15 per 100 c. ft. 

kot quartzite broken to 

Consolidation . . 100 

IJ-in. gauge, no sealing 

150 Ib. bitumen at 15 


Re. 1 per cwt. 

Labour and fuel 110 

in heating, mix- 

ing and applying. 

Actual cost per 100 sq. ft. 
Actual coat per sq. yd. 

26 1 



MexphaUe sealed with Spramex. 

Position of work. 

Date when Specification, 
laid. A 

Analysis of cost per 

100 sq. ft. 

Grand Trunk Road 


Penetration 1-5 gallons 

25 e. ft. ballast at 

Rs. A, p. 


approaches to 

192K to 

(15{ Ib. ) ot Hcxphalte 

Rs.^30 per 100 

Ravi Bridge in 


with a sealing coat of 

c. ft. 

miles 3 and 4 (28 

1927. 0-3 gallon (3} Ib.) of 

8 c. ft. bajn at 


ft. and 24 ft. wide). 

Spramcx ] er sq. >d. on 

Rs. 30 A jer 100 c. 

3 -in. of Serai-kala stone 


broken to 2-in. gauge. 

17 gull. (177 Ib.) 

12 10 

Mcxphalte at Kb. 

8 pei CH t. 

3-3 gall. (35 Ib.) 


Spiamex at Ks. 8 

per ewt. 



Labour and fuel 


in heating, mix- 

ing and applying. 

Actual cost per 100 sq. ft. 

2S 7 

Actual cost per sq. yd. 

2 9 

Surface tarring has so far proved most satisfactory and the following 
analysis of the rates in Lahore may be useful . 

First coat. 

Second coat. 









Ks. A. p. 

Ks. A. r. 

Ks. A. P. 


9 11 percwt. 

0-25 ewt. 


0-08 ewt. 



40 per 101) 
o. ft, 
800 ditto 

1 c. ft. 
2 c. it. 

2 6 

1 e. ft, 
2 c. ft. 

(J 6 

Fuel and labour 111 
heating and roll- 



4 6 


First coat. 

Succeeding coats. 

Total cost per 100 
sq. ft. 



1 10 




The province of Burma has about 100 milos of roads with tarred and 
bituminous surfaces. There are many of these which have been laid 15 years 
ago and have stood up to exceedingly heavy traffic. They were made by apply- 
ing a carpet of oil pitch on the water-bound surface soon after it had been 
consolidated ; this pitch was a waste product in those days, out is now not 
being made by the oil companies as their existing processes do not produce the 
same pitch, but another which is not satisfactory. 

Such roads which have been made of late have been treated with a 
mixture of Shalimar pitch and coal tar or Socony road pitch. The cost varies 
according to the penetration into the metalled surface, dependent on the 
quality of stone used and the period intervening between the construction of 
the road and the application of the grouted carpet. 

The grouting costs from Ks. 10 to Rs. 16 per 100 sq. ft. which lasts for 2 
or 3 years after which a yearly renewal coat costs about Rs. 3 per 100 sq. ft. 

The results are found to be eminently satisfactory in that they prevent 
dust and keep the stones in position until they are worn away by traffic. 

Particularly no other kinds of bituminous road construction have been under- 
J iken in this province. 


Prior to 1910 the roads of Rangoon consisted for the most part of varying 
widths of metalled surface on a very inadequate foundation composed mainly 
of laterite and in some cases broken brick. The application of tar, as a dust layer, 
had been tried, but the quality of the tar obtainable then was not suitable for 
road work, and the surfaces deteriorated very rapid lv with the advent of the 
rainy season. It was about that time that the writer first considered the use 
of what is now known as residual bitumen, as a grouting or binding agent for 
macadam roads, and the Burma Oil Company through their Chief Chemist, Mr. 
Allen, was approached in order to determine if the residue from the refining stills, 
which at that time was considered as waste, could be utilised for road work. 

Many trials were made with this material and eventually a "pitch " was 
obtained with which the writer experimented successfully on certain roads, so 
that it was decided to extend considerably the use of it. 

Meanwhile in 1911 the Rangoon Municipality embarked on a programme 
of road reconstruction, with Val de Travers Asphalte on cement concrete 
foundations in the business quarters and stone sett paving for the heaviest 
trafficked roads in the vicinity of the docks and railway. Certain contracts 
were entered into and resulted in the laying of 2-34 miles of road 50 feet wide 
between kerbs with asphalte, and 1 14 miles of stone sett paving. The war 

* Note by the Chief Engineer, Public Works Department, Burma. 
t Note by the Chief Engineer. Rangoon Corporation. 


then put an effectual stop to further work of this nature, and in 1919 the 

roads of Rangoon could be classified as follows : 

Metalled Roads 79-04 miles. 

Laterite Rohds .. .. .. 3-43 

Wood paved Roads . . . . . . 31 

Asphalt Roads .. .. .. 2-74 

Kutcha Roads .. .. .. .. H'42 

Tarred Roads .. .. .. 3-23 ., 

Bitumen grouted .. .. .. I'OO ,, 

Granite setts . . . . . . 1- 14 

Total .. 102-31 

Today, 1928, the classification is : 

Metalled Roads . . . . . . . . 30-14 miles, 

Laterite Roads .. .. .. .. 7-79 ,, 

Asphalte Roads .. .. .. . . 2-74 

Kutcha Roads .. .. .. .. 4-6G 

Tarred Roads 61-95 ., 

Bitumen Roads .. .. .. .. 19-90 

Granite setts . . .. .. .. 2-67 

Concrete .. .. .. .. 0-17 

Total .. 130-02 5 , 

In 1920 the necessity for more or less wholesale reconstruction of the main 
roads was recognised, and the \\ork of such reconstruction commenced. In 
Rangoon, particular attention has been directed to the strengthening of the 
foundations and improving the drainage of surface and subsoil water, and the 
form of construction which has been most generally adopted, with so far ex- 
cellent results, has been the provision of new foundations consisting of stone 
trap, hand packed to a consolidated depth of from 10" to 12" surfaced with 
road metal consolidated to 4" depth and grouted with a mixture composed of 
two parts bitumen to one part fine sand or granite dust. This mixture is 
applied in the following manner. The metal after spreading is steam rolled 
to the required camber, and the bitumen, after melting and heating to a tem- 
perature of about 240 F., has mixed with it in ordinary buckets, a 50% propor- 
tion of fine sand or granite dust preferably the latter if available which has 
also been heated to about the same temperature as the bitumen. The 


mixture after thorough stirring is applied through hand pouring cans to the 
metalled surface, the covering area being about -6 square yard per gallon. 
Stone chips are then spread evenly over the surface, which is finally steam 
rolled, when the road can be opened to traffic. The grout as applied in this 
manner has a penetration of about 2i inches ; and after the road has been 
.subjected to traffic conditions for a month or so, a sealing coat of bitumen or 
road tar may be given. This type of road may well be termed u Bitumastic 
macadam , and the lasting qualities of it have already been proved in this 
city, where roads so reconstructed in 1920 are still in excellent condition, and 
require very little attention for maintenance. The surface is resilient, clean, 
non-slippery and dust proof. 

In addition to the Burma Oil Company, the British Burma Oil Company 
Limited, as advised by the writer, has succeeded in producing a residual as- 
phalte or bitumen, which is of excellent quality for this class of work. 

Asphalt roads. 

The roads classified under this head consist of 2" thick paving of Val de 
Travers Asphalte (powder) laid on a foundation of cement concrete 6" thick. 
While the success of this kind of road cannot be denied, as they have had a 
useful life of over 15 years, yet their first cost is high, being Rs. 2 per square 
ft. for the asphalte alone, and maintenance charges have been heavy owing 
to the destructive effect on them of bullock and hand cart traffic, the narrow 
iron tyred wheels of which cause undue wear through biting and twisting action 
when in motion. Also it is difficult to obtain asphalte powder with the 
correct proportion of bitumen to suit the varying conditions of this climate, 
and for economic reasons, this form of road construction has not been pro- 
ceeded with. 

Granite sett paving. 

This type of road is very suitable for roads in the viiinily of doeks and 
railway where bullock, hand cart and heavy motor lorry traffic abounds. 
The construction consists of a foundation of 6" thick cement concrete, rein- 
forced if necessary, and granite stone setts laid thereon with a 1" sand cushion 
between. The granite setts, which measure approximately 9" X 5" X 3" 
and are obtained from India, are laid with joints as close as possible and these 
joints are flush grouted with a 2 : I Hind cement mortar. This form of pave- 
ment requires little or no attention for maintenance, roads which were so 
paved in the year 1912 are still in excellent condition and the maintenance 
charges on them have been practically nil. 


As will be noted from a comparison of the 1928 classification with that of 
1919, there has been a very considerable increase in the mileage of tar painted 
roads. Until recently it has been customary to use a tar obtainable from 
India, which conforms in every respect with the Road Board Specification 
for Tar No. 2, but it has always been realised that even this tar will volatilise 
and emulsify under the extreme monsoon conditions prevailing in Burma, and 
for the treatment of city streets it was not effective. 


With bitumen becoming more readily available it is now usual to add to 
the tar 30 % by measure of bitumen which reinforces the former against the 
effects of damp. The provision of a really water-proof surface is thus obtained, 
and the use of tar alone is no longer economical. 


In Bihar and Orissa there is little development of this nature to report. 
In the Central Provinces, vide the reply of that Government to question A. 6 
of the questionnaire, the need for improved road surfaces has not at present 
been felt. In Assam again there is little to report. 


Improvement of unsurfacccl roads. 

The need for the improvement of unmetalled roads is also receiving atten- 
tion at the present time. When it is remembered that some seventy per cent 
of the mileage of roads in charge of the Public Works Department and of 
district boards and councils, is unmetalled, and that in addition there is a large 
mileage of unmetalled roads in charge of minor local bodies and villagers, the 
importance of the subject will be realised. The main defects are inadequate 
drainage and soil unsuitable to carry loads. Attempts are being made in some 
provinces to deal with the former evil by schemes of remodelling and drainage, 
in the execution of which graders and other plant are being tested : the results 
as far as they go are encouraging but experience is at present very limited. 
Some work has also been done but to a still more limited extent upon the blend- 
ing of soils to produce " sand-clay " and other improved surfaces. 

Suggested policy regarding road research. 

The above review of what has been done and what is being done with 
improved forms of road surface suggests the need of a central clearing house 
for information. It appeared from the evidence before the Committee and 
from the discussions of the touring sub-committee that the need for such a 
clearing house is generally accepted, and further that the Government of India 
might legitimately apply part of the funds at its disposal to subsidising research 
initiated by local Governments or by themselves. Some apprehension was 
however expressed lest central machinery for research be created on grandiose 
lines and result in heavy expenditure on academic investigations. This 
apprehension is possibly satisfied in that expenditure in this direction will be 
largely subject to the advice of the periodical road conference which will be 
able to appoint a technical sub-committee to consider proposals. 

Subject to this advice, it appears probable that funds will be available 
for meeting the cost, wholly or in part, of experimental work in the field to be 
carried out by provincial road authorities ; for the provision of additional 
apparatus at Alipore and in other laboratories ; and for the publication, in 
periodical literature or special pamphlets, of information likely to be of use 
to road authorities, on road materials, road plant, road surfaces, and the effect 
of different classes of traffic, in India and other countries 



Federal Highway Act of 1921 of the United States of America. 

An Act to amend the Act entitled " An Act to provide that the United 
States shall aid the States in the construction of rural post roads, and for other 
purposes, " approved July 11, 1916, as amended and supplemented, and for 
other purposes. 

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States Federal 
of Ant erica in Congress assembled, That this Act may be cited as the Federal Highway 
Highway Act. ' Act 

SEC. 2. That, when used in this Act, unless the context indicates Meamng O f 
otheiwist terms. 

The term " Federal Aid Act " means the Act entitled " An Act to pro- 
vide that the United States shall aid the States in the construction of rural post 
roads, and for other pm poses," approved July 11, 1916, as amended by sections 
5 and 6 of an Act entitled " An Act making appropriations for the service of 
the Post Office Department for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1 920, and for other 
purposes," approved February 28, 1919, and all other Acts amendatory thereof 
or supplementary thereto. 

The term " highway " includes rights of way, bridges, drainage structures* <4 , 

signs, guard rails, and protective structures in connection with highways, Ig way> 
but shall not include any highway or street in a municipality having a popula- Limitation. 
tion of two thousand five hundred or more as shown by the last available 
census, except that portion of any such highway or street along which within 
a distance of one mile the houses average more than two hundred feet apart. 

The term "State highway department " includes any State department, "State high 
commission, board, or official having adequate powers and suitably equipped way depart- 
and organized to discharge to the satisfaction of the Secietary of Agriculture 
the duties herein required. 

The teim "maintenance" means the constant making of needed repairs "Mamten- 
to preserve a smooth surfaced highway. ance." 

The teim "construction" means the supervising, inspecting, actual "Construe- 
building, and all expenses incidental to the construction of a highway, except tion." 
locating, surveying, mapping, and costs of rights of way. 

The term "reconstruction" means a widening or a rebuilding of the " Recon-^ 
highway or any portion thereof to make it a continuous road, and of sufficient s ruc lon ' 
width and strength to care adequately for traffic needs. 

The teim " forest roads " means roads wholly or partly within or adjacent " Forest 
to and serving the national forests. roads." 

The teim "State funds" includes for the purposes of this Act funds State 
raised under the authority of the State, or any political or other subdivision funds." 
thereof, and made available for expenditure under the direct control of the 
State highway department. 

SEC. 3. All powers and duties of the Council of National Defense Council of 
under the Act entitled " An Act making appropriations for the support of the National 


Powers of, in 
etc., trans- 
ferred to 
Secretary of 
parks, mil- 
itary and 
naval reser- 
Control of 
highways in, 
not disturb- 

Indian re- 


Army for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1917, and for other purposes," 
approved August 29, 1916, in relation to highway or highway transport, are 
hereby transferred to the Secretary of Agriculture, and the Council of National 
Defense is directed to turn over to the Secretary of Agriculture the equipment, 
material, supplies, papers, maps, and documents utilized in the exercise of such 
powers. The powers and duties of agencies dealing with highways in the 
national parks or in military or naval reservations under the control of the 
United States Army or Navy, or with highways used principally for military 
or naval purposes, shall not be taken over by the Secretary of Agriculture, but 
such highways shall remain under the control and jurisdiction of such agencies. 

The Secretary of Agriculture is authorized to cooperate with the State- 
highway departments, and with the Department of the Interior in the con- 
struction of public highways within Indian reservations, and to pay the amount 
assumed therefor from the funds allotted or apportioned under this Act to 
the State wherein the reservation is located. 

SEC. 4. That the Secretary of Agriculture shall establish an account- 
ing division which shall devise and install a proper method of keeping the 

SEC. 5. That the Secretary of War be, and he is hereby, authorized 
and directed to transfer to the Secretary of Agriculture, upon his request, all 
war material, equipment, and supplies now or hereafter declared surplus Iroin 
stock now on hand and not needed for the purposes of the War Department 
but suitable for use in the improvement of highways, and that the same shall 
be distributed among the highway departments of the several States to be used 
in the construction, reconstruction, and maintenance of highways, such dis- 
tribution to be upon the same basis as that hereinafter provided for in this 
Act in the distribution of Federal-aid fund: Provide'!, That the Secretary 
of Agriculture, in his discretion, may reserve from such distribution not to 
exceed 10 per centum of such material, equipment, and supplies for use in 
the construction, reconstruction, and maintenance* of national forest roads 
or other roads constructed, reconstructed, or maintained under his direct super- 

SKC. (i. That in approving projects to receive Federal aid under the 
provisions of this Act the Secretary of Agriculture shall give preference to 
such projects as will expedite the completion of an adequate and connected 
system of highways, interstate in character. 

Before any projects are approved in any State, such State, throng] i its 
State highway department, shall select or designate a system of highways 
not to exceed 7 per centum of the total highway mileage of such State as shown 
by the records of the State* highway department at the time of the passage of 
this Act. 

Federal aid Upon this system all Federal-aid apportionments shall be expended, 


Classification Highways which may receive Federal aid shall be divided into two classes, 
of highways. one O f w hich shall be known as primary or interstate highways, and shall not 




Surplus Army 
road con- 
etc., trans- 

i or State use. 

for national 
torests, etc, 

higliM a^ s 
Preference t 
projects for 

Mileage to be 
designated by 


exceed three-sevenths of the total mileage which may receive Federal aid, 
and the other which shall connect or correlate therewith and be known as 
secondary or intercounty highways, and shall consist of the remainder of the 
mileage which may receive Federal aid. 

The Secretary of Agriculture shall have authority to approve in whole Approval, 

' rt , , , . '!/ etc., of svs- 

or in part the systems as designated or to require modifications or revisions temSf * 

thereof : Provi'le/l, That the States shall submit to the Secretary of Agriculture Ptoviso. 
for his approval any proposed revisions of the designated svstems of highways Proposed re- 

i "iic ' visions. 

above provided tor. 

Not more than 00 per centum of all Federal aid allotted to any State shall Limitation 
be expended upon the primary or interstate highways until provision has been 1*^?' 
made for the improvement of the entire system of such highways . vided for. 
Provided, That with the approval of any State highway department the PIOVIM. 
Secretary of Agriculture may approve the expenditure of more than 60 per Additional to 
centum of the Federal aid apportioned to such State upor the primary or inter- ^ ary ug " 
state highways in such State. 

The Secretary of Agriculture may approve projects submitted by the Approval of 
State highway departments prior to the selection, designation, and approval of ^^ t r c ( } ect8 
the system of Federal-aid highways herein provided for if he may reasonably 
anticipate that such projects will become a part of such system. 

Whenever provision has been made by any State for the completion and Additional 
maintenance of a system of primary or interstate and secondary or inter- ^ c a ( ^ 11 on " 
county highways equal to 7 per centum of the total mileage of such State, authorized 
as required by this Act, said State, through its State highway department, by wheneomple- 
and with the approval of the Secretary of Agriculture, is hereby authorized to 
add to the mileage of primary or interstate and secondary or intercounty for. 
systems as funds become available for the construction and maintenance of 
such additional mileage, 

SEC. 7. That before any project shall be approved by the Secretary of state to pro- 
Agriculture for any State such State shall make provisions for State funds vide funds* 
required each year of such States by this Act for construction, reconstruction, tion before " 
and maintenance of all Federal-aid highways within the State, which funds projects may 
shall be under the direct control of the State highway department. be approved. 

SRC. 8. That only such durable types of surface and kinds of materials Adequate 
shall be adopted for the construction and reconstruction of any highway Construction 

-,.-,. .1-1.1 i. j. x i i A / materials, 

which is a part ot the primary or interstate and secondary or intercounty et0tj required. 

systems as will adequately meet the existing and probable future traffic needs 
and conditions thereon. The Secretary of Agriculture shall approve the types Approval of 
and width of construction and reconstruction and the character of improvement, typ^s etc., 
repair, and maintenance in each case, consideration being given to the type and y e re ary ' 
character which shall be best suited for each locality and to the probable char- 
acter and extent of the future traffic. 

SEC. 9. That all highways constructed or reconstructed under the Freedom 
provisions of this Act shall be free from tolls of all kinds. from tolis - 



Width of That all higHways in the primary or interstate systefm constructed after 

etc. Wfty> ^ e P assa g e f this Act shall have a right of way of ample width and a wearing 
surface of an adequate width which shall not be less than eighteen feet, unless, 
in the opinion of the Secretary of Agriculture, it is rendered impracticable by 
physical conditions, excessive costs, probable traffic requirements, or legal 

SEC. 10. That when any State shall have met the requirements of this 
Act, the Secretary of the Treasury, upon receipt of certification from the 
certificate governor of such State to such effect, approved by the Secretary of Agriculture, 
from gover- shall immediately make available to such State, for the purpose set forth in this 
Act, the sum apportioned to such State as herein provided. 

SEC. 11. That any State having complied with the provisions of this 
Act, and desiring to avail itself of the benefits thereof, shall by its State highway 
department submit to the Secretary of Agriculture project statements setting 
forth proposed construction or reconstruction of any primary or interstate, 
or secondary or intercounty highway therein. If the Secretary of Agriculture 
approve the project, the State highway department shall furnish to him such 
surveys, plans, specifications, and estimates therefor as he may require ; 
items included for engineering, inspection, and unforeseen contingencies shall 
not exceed 10 per centum of the total estimated cost of its construction. 

That when the Secretary of Agriculture approves such surveys, plans, 
specifications, and estimates, he shall notify the State highway department and 
immediately certify the fact to the Secretary of the Treasury. The Secretary 
of the Treasury shall thereupon set aside the share of the United States payable 
under this Act on account of such projects, which shall not exceed 50 per centum 
of the total estimated cost thereof, except that in thf case of any State con- 
In public taining unappropriated public lands exceeding 5 per centum of the total 
land States. - - - l ' J L l 




to unused 

\ bl 

nor of action 
of State. 
of proposed 

Plans, etc., 
if project 

of approval, 

Amount to be 
set aside 

all lands in the State, the share of the United States payable under this 
Act on account of such projects shall not exceed 50 per centum of the total 
estimated cost thereof plus a percentage of such estimated cost equal to one- 
half of the percentage which the area of the unappropriated public lands in such 
State bears to the total area of such State : Provided, That the limitation 
of payments not to exceed $20,000 per mile, under existing law, which the 
Secretary of Agriculture may make be, and the same is hereby, increased in 
proportion to the increased percentage of Federal aid authorized by this 
section : Provided further, That these provisions relative to the public- 
land States shall apply to all unobligated or unmatched funds appropriated by 
the Federal Aid Act and payment for approved projects upon which actual 
building construction work had not begun on the 30th day of June, 1921. 

c SEC. 12. That the construction and reconstruction of the highways or 

etc., by ' parts of highways under the provisions of this Act, and all contracts, plans, 
State high- specifications, and estimates relating thereto, shall be undertaken by the 
State highway departments subject to the approval of the Secretary of Agricul- 
ture. The construction and reconstruction work and labor in each State shall 
be done in accordance with its laws and under the direct supervision of the 
State highway department, subject to the inspection and approval of the 
Secretary of Agriculture and in accordance with the rules and regulations 
pursuant to this Act. 



SEC. 13. That when the Secretary of Agriculture shall find that any Payment on 
project approved by him has been constructed or reconstructed in compliance 
with said plans and specifications, he shall cause to be paid to the proper 
authorities of said State the amount set aside for said project. 

That the Secretary of Agriculture may, in his discretion, from time to Advances al- 
time, make payments on such construction or reconstruction as the work lowed during 
progresses, but these payments, including previous payments, if any, shall cons 
not be more than the United States pro rata part of the value of the labor and 
materials which have been actually put into such construction or reconstruction 
in conformity to said plans and specifications. The Secretary of Agriculture Determina- 
and the State highway department of each State may jointly determine at tionof pay- 
what time and in what amounts payments as work progresses shall be made 
under this Act. 

Such payments shall be made by the Secretary of the Treasury, on war Method of 
rants drawn by the Secretary of Agriculture, to such official or officials or payments, 
depository as may be designated by the State highway department and autho- 
rized under the laws of the State to receive public funds of the State. 

SEC. 14. That should any State fail to maintain any highway* within its Service of 
boundaries after construction or reconstruction under the provisions of this notice to 
Act, the Secretary of Agriculture shall then serve notice upon the State highway f a ii ure to 
department of that fact, and if within ninety days after receipt of such notice maintain 
said highway has not been placed in proper condition of maintenance, the p^^ureif 
Secretary of Agriculture shall proceed immediately to have such highway not attended 
placed in a proper condition of maintenance and charge the cost thereof against to - 
the Federal funds allotted to such State, and shall refuse to approve any other P*^ 6 *^" 
project in such State, except as hereinafter provided. refused. 

Upon the reimbursement by the State of the amount expended by the Action if re- 
Federal Government for such maintenance, said amount shall be paid into the imbursemen 
Federal highway fund for reapportionnient among all the States for the b y theState> 
construction of roads under this Act, and the Secretary of Agriculture shall 
then approve further projects submitted by the State as in this Act provided. 

Whenever it shall become necessary for the Secretary of Agriculture Authority of 
under the provisions of this Act to place any highway in a proper condition of Secretary to 
maintenance the Secretary of Agriculture shall contract with some responsible 
party or parties for doing such work : Provided, however, That in case 
he is not able to secure a satisfactory contract he may purchase, lease, hire, or Work other 
otherwise obtain all necessary supplies, equipment, and labor, and may operate tha ? by t 
and maintain such motor and other equipment and facilities as in his judgment 
are necessary for the proper and efficient performance of his functions. 

SEC. 15. That within two years after this Act takes effect the Secretary Map of ap- 
of Agriculture shall prepare, publish, and distribute a map showing the highways P roved 
and forest roads that have been selected and approved as a part of the primary tote*" 8 ' etC " 
or interstate, and the secondary or intercounty systems, and at least annually prepared, 
thereafter shall publish supplementary maps showing his program and the Annual 8U P' 
progress made in selection, construction, and reconstruction. p emen s ' 

SEC. 16, That for the purpose of this Act the consent of the United Convey 
State* is hereby given to any railroad or canal company to convey to the of public" 

rights of way 
* consented to. 



Use of public 
lands for 
rights of way 
or materials. 


Transfer to 
State autho- 
rities if not 
objected to. 

when no 

Rules, etc., 
to be pre- 







tion for fiscal 
year 1922. 

tion, etc., 
expenses to 
be deducted. 

highway department of any State any part of its right of way or other property 
in that State acquired by grant from the United States. 

SEC. 17. That if the Secretary of Agriculture determines that any part 
of the public lands or reservations of the United States is reasonably necessary 
for the right of way of any highway or forest road or as a source of materials for 
the construction or maintenance of any such highway or forest road adjacent to 
such lands or reservations, the Secretary of Agriculture shall file with the 
Secretary of the department supervising the administration of such land or 
reservation a map showing the portion of such lands or reservations which it is 
desired to appropriate. 

If within a period of four months after such filing the said Secretary shall 
not have certified to the Secretary of Agriculture that the proposed appropria- 
tion of such land or material is contrary to the public interest or inconsistent 
with the purposes for which such land or materials have been reserved, or shall 
have agreed to the appropriation and transfer under conditions which he 
deems necessary for the adequate protection and utilization of the reserve, 
then such land and materials may be appropriated and transferred to the 
State highway department for such purposes and subject to the conditions so 

If at any time the need for any such lands or materials for such purposes 
shall no longer exist, notice of the fact shall be given by the State highway 
department to the Secretary of Agriculture, and such lands or materials shall 
immediately revert to the control of the Secretary of the department from which 
they had been appropriated. 

SFC. 18. That the Secretary of Agriculture shall prescribe and pro- 
mulgate all needful rules and regulations for the carrying out of the provisions 
of this Act, including such recommendations to the Congress and the State 
highway departments as he may deem necessary for preserving and protecting 
the highways and insuring the safety of traffic thereon. 

SEC. 19. That on or before the first Monday in December of each 
year the Secretary of Agriculture shall make a report to Congress, which shall 
include a detailed statement of the work done, the status of each project 
undertaken, the allocation of appropriations, an itemized statement of the 
expenditures and receipts during the preceding fiscal year under this Act, an 
itemized statement of the travelling and other expenses, including a list of 
employees, their duties, salaries, and travelling expenses, if any, and his 
recommendations, if any, for new legislation amending or supplementing this 
Act. The Secretary of Agriculture shall also make such special reports as 
Congress may request. 

SEC. 20. That for the purpose of carrying out the provisions of this Act 
there is hereby appropriated, out of the moneys in the Treasury not otherwise 
appropriated, $75,000,000 for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1922, $25,000,000 
of which shall become immediately available, and $50,000,000 of which shall 
become available January 1, 1922. 

SEC. 21. That so much, not to exceed 2 per centum, of all moneys 
hereby or hereafter appropriated for expenditure under the provisions of this 
Act, as the Secretary of Agriculture may deem necessary for administering 


the provisions of this Act and for carrying on necessary highway research and 
investigational studies independently or in cooperation with the State highway 
departments and other research agencies, and for publishing the results thereof, 
shall be deducted for such purposes, available until expended. 

Within sixty days after tho close of each fiscal year the Secretary of Apportion- 
Agriculture shall determine what part, if any, of the sums theretofore deducted j^^ed 11 " 
for such purposes will not be needed and apportion such part, if any, for the balances, 
fiscal year then current in the same manner and on the same basis as are other 
amounts authorized by this Act apportioned among all the States, and shall 
certify such apportionment to the Secretary of the Treasury and to the State 
highway departments. 

The Secretary of Agriculture, after making the deduction authorixed Ratio of 
by this section, shall apportion the remainder of the appropriation made a PPrtion- 
for expenditure under the provision of the Act for the fiscal year among 
the several States in the following manner : One-third in the ratio 
which the area of each State bears to the total area of all the States ; To area, 
one-third in the ratio which the population of each State bears to the Topopula- 
total population of all the States, as shown by the latest available Federal tjon * 
census; one-third in the ratio which the mileage of rural delivery routes and TO rural de. 
star routes in each State bears to the total mileage of rural delivery and star livery and 
routes in all the States at the close of the next preceding fiscal year, as shown by sta , r routes 
certificate of the Postmaster General, which he is directed to make and furnish 
annually to the Secretary of Agriculture : Provi'M, That no State shall p rov isos. 
receive less than one-half of 1 per centum of each year's allotment. All moneys Minimum, 
herein or hereafter appropriated for expenditure under the provisions of this Availa ^. le for 
Act shall be available until the close of the second succeeding fiscal year for year . 
which apportionment was made : Provided further, That any sums Apportion- 
apportioned to any State under the provisions of the Act entitled " An Act to ment under 
provide that the United States shall aid the States in the construction of rural former | a ws 
post roads, and for other purposes," approved July 11, 1916, and all Acts two years, 
amendatory thereof and supplemental thereto, shall be available for expendi- 
ture in that State for the purpose set forth in such Acts until two years after the 
close of the respective fiscal years for which any such sums become available, Unexpended 
and any amount so apportioned remaining unexpended at the end of the period balances to 
during which it is available for expenditure under the terms of such Acts shall ticmed** 
be reapportioned according to the provisions of the Act entitled " An Act to according to 
provide that the United States shall aid the States in the construction of rural samelaws - 
pos f roads, and for other purposes/' approved July 11, 1916 : And provided Reapjtor- 
further, That any amount apportioned under the provisions of this Act une^nded 
unexpended at the end of the period during which it is available for expenditure balances to 
under the terms of this section shall be reapportioned within sixty days there- States - 
after to all the States in the same manner and on the same basis, and certified 
to the Secretary of the Treasury and the State highway departments in the 
same way as if it were being apportioned under this Act for the first time. 

SEC. 22. That within sixty days after the approval of this Act the Certification, 
Secretary of Agriculture shall certify to the Secretary of the Treasury and of amounts 
to each of the State highway departments the sum he has estimated to be a PP ort * oned 
deducted for administering the provisions of this Act and the sums which Id ySaT 


tion for 
roads and 
trails in, for 
1922 and 

for roads 
and trails of 
primary im- 
portance to 

To develop 

resources of 






Balance for 
roads of 
primary VE&- " 
portance to 


of State, 
etc., co- 
by States, 

Contracts for 

Work by the 

Use of ap. 
for expenses 

has apportioned to each State for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1922, and on or 
before January 20 next preceding the commencement of each succeeding 
fiscal year, and shall make like certificates for each fiscal year. 

SEC. 23. That out of the moneys in the Treasury not otherwise appro- 
priated, there is hereby appropriated for the survey, construction, reconstruc- 
tion, and maintenance of forest roads and trails, the sum of $5,000,000 for 
the fiscal year ending June 30, 1922, available immediately and until expended, 
and $10,000,000 for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1923, available until ex- 

(a) Fifty per centum, but not to exceed $3,000,000 for any one fiscal 
year, of the appropriation made or that may hereafter be made for expenditure 
under the provisions of this section shall be expended under the direct supervi- 
sion of the Secretary of Agriculture in the survey, construction, reconstruction, 
and maintenance of roads and trails of primary importance for the protection, 
Administration, and utilization of the national forests, or when necessary, for the 
use and development of resources upon which communities within or adjacent 
to the national forests are dependent, and shall be apportioned among the 
several States, Alaska, and Porto Rico by the Secretary of Agriculture, ac- 
cording to the relative needs of the various national forests, taking into consider- 
ation the existing transportation facilities, value of timber, or other resources 
served, relative fire danger, and comparative difficulties of road and trail 

The balance of such appropriations shall be expended by the Secretary of 
Agriculture in the survey, construction, reconstruction, and maintenance of 
forest roads of primary importance to the State, counties, or communities 
wkhin, adjoining, or adjacent to the national forests, and shall be prorated and 
apportioned by the Secretary of Agriculture for expenditures in the several 
States, Alaska, and Porto Kico, according to the area and value of the land 
owned by the Government within the national forests therein as determined by 
th Secretary of Agriculture from such information, investigation, sources, 
and departments as the Secretary of Agriculture may deem most accurate. 

(b) Cooperation of Territories, States, and civil subdivisions thereof may be 
accepted but shall not be required by the Secretary of Agriculture. 

(c) The Secretary of Agriculture may enter into contracts with any 
Territory, State, or civil subdivision thereof for the construction, reconstruction, 
or maintenance of any forest road or trail or part thereof. 

(d) Construction work on forest roada, or trails estimated to cost $5,000 
or more per mile, exclusive of bridges, shall be advertised and let to contract. 

If such estimated cost is less" than $5,000 per mile, or if, after proper 
advertising, no acceptable bid is received, or the bids*are deemed excessive, the 
\york may be done by the Secretary of Agriculture on his own account ; and 
for such purpose the Secretary of Agriculture may purchase, lease, hire, rent, or 
otherwise obtain alj? necessary supplies, materials, tools, equipment, and 
facilities required to perform the work. 

The appropriation madean this section or that may hereafter be made for 
expenditure under the provisions of this* section may be expended for the 


purpose herein authorized and for the payment of wages, salaries, and other 
expenses for help employed in connection with such work. 

SEC. 24 . That in any 'State where the existing constitution or laws will Temporary 
not permit the State to provide revenues for the construction, reconstruction, or pjS w hen 
maintenance of highways, the Secretary of Agriculture shall continue to State laws do 
approve projects for said State until three years after the passage of this Act, if n ?\ al ] ow d ^ se 
he shall find that said State has complied with the provisions of this Act ia so far 
as its existing constitution and laws will permit. 

SEC. 25. That if any pro/vision of this Act, or the application thereof invaUdijj of 
to any person or circumstanced, shall be held invalid, the validity of the r ^niaind^^ 1 ( ^^" Ilot 
er of the Act and of the application of such provision to other persons ortoajpctw- 

circumstances shall not be affected thereby. mainder of 


SEC. 20. That all Acts or parts of Acts in any way inconsistent with the Inoonaistent 
provisions of this Act are hereby repealed, and this Act shall take effect on $s 
passage. * 

Approved, November 9, 1921.